MISE & Agrave; DAY
Pilgrim “lovers of cathedrals”, municipal agents, math teacher on an outing with students… Thursday's knife attack on a playground near Lake Annecy revealed some heroes that the president Emmanuel Macron met on Friday.
Among them, Henri, 24, the most popular on social networks. In a video authenticated by AFP, we see him trying to stop the assailant with his backpack when the man attacks the children, then chasing him when he tries to flee.
“Pray for the children, I'm fine”, said Henri in a message posted Thursday on his Instagram account, “le chant des Cathédrales”, where he presents himself as a “lover of cathedrals , on foot for 9 months across France”.
The hashtag #MerciHenri, which salutes the “backpack hero”, has become very popular on the accounts of far-right activists. “I acted like every Frenchman should act,” he told Cnews on Friday.
“I didn't even think about it. The brain really disconnected, for me it was just impossible to let defenseless beings be attacked in this way by someone who seemed to be a madman, ”he then explained on the BFM channel.
“I felt that he was not a guy in his normal state, that something very bad was in him and that it was absolutely necessary to stop him (…) We act as we can with what 'we have, so here at hand was my little backpack that I was carrying in front of me”.
“We took a shovel”
The mayor of Annecy , a peaceful town in the French Alps, François Astorg praised Thursday “the courage” of two municipal agents who worked in the park and “tried to arrest the assailant when he was committing his crimes”.
“We were emptying containers when we heard screams coming from the kindergarten. People were calling for help, ”says one of the two road workers in the regional daily Le Dauphiné Libéré.
“We saw the guy coming towards us. He was dressed all in black, with his scarf over his head. With my colleague, we took what we had on hand: a shovel. And we went to meet him. My colleague tried to knock him out or disarm him with the shovel, but he was strong and fast. We could clearly see his knife. He tried to stab my colleague, the blade passed a few centimeters from his face. We had to step back,” he says.
He has one regret from this episode: “Too bad we couldn’t get it with the shovel…”.< /p>
Eulalie, a 17-year-old student met by AFP in the park, evokes for his part the role of his mathematics teacher, “who was great because he acted directly”.
“He intervened, with a another gentleman holding a bag” and according to her this distracted the assailant and potentially saved children. For his part, his first reaction was “to call samu, firefighters”: “we don't run away, we try to be efficient, my brain reacts like that, it's unique to everyone”.