“I found myself covered in blood”, tells Joseph at the microphone of BFMTV the day after his attack. Sunday, May 30 in the evening, this delivery man for the company Uber Eats was beaten and insulted in front of the Brasco restaurant in Cergy (Val-d’Oise) where he was waiting for an order to be delivered. Tuesday, June 1, the suspect was arrested and taken into custody, Franceinfo learned from a police source. He had also threatened and made racist remarks against a local resident who was filming the scene. Here is what we know about this assault.
A man assaulted and insulted
Sunday evening, the delivery man arrives at the Brasco restaurant in Cergy to pick up an order placed on the Uber Eats platform for which he works. He waits while listening to music on his speaker. “When leaving the Brasco restaurant, a guy comes to see me and says: ‘Turn off your music’, Joseph remembers on BFMTV. Out of kindness, I lower the volume of my speaker. It wasn’t enough for him. He said, ‘We have to go down. I refused.”
Quickly, the tone rises and the stranger then physically assaults Joseph. “The punched me. Afterwards, I found myself on the ground “, says Joseph on BFMTV. “The violence was so unbelievable that my client felt like it was over for him”, explains his lawyer MéHana Mouhou. “He is in shock, traumatized by this violence and the words he heard.”
A woman, witness to the altercation, films the scene from her window, before being also taken to task by the alleged assailant. In this video, widely shared on social networks, we see a young man located at the bottom of a building utter racist insults. “For 800 years, you were sold like cattle, you dirty black!” he thus launches the riverfront. Secondly, the young man attacks Joseph and the author of the video comments: “He called him a slave and made him bleed … Here is his blood on the floor …”
This witness then alerts the police and Joseph is then taken care of by the firefighters. He presented “several wounds”, AFP reports. Both have lodged a complaint for acts qualified as “willful violence with the aggravating circumstance of racism”, “public insults of a racist nature” and “apology for slavery and crimes against humanity”, said the Pontoise prosecutor. The investigation was entrusted to the Cergy-Pontoise police station.
The suspect in police custody
The day after the attack, Monday, the national police of Val-d’Oise announced the opening of a “own-initiative judicial inquiry” in order to identify the author of these racist threats and insults. After the broadcast of several videos calling for the assailant to be found, the police asked to “do not relay hateful testimonies and let the investigation unfold.”
Tuesday, at 12:45, a man was finally arrested “without violence” in the 10th arrondissement of Paris by the anti-crime squad. He is suspected of being the author of racist insults, Franceinfo learned from a police source. He was taken into custody and transferred to Val-d’Oise to be heard, specifies France Bleu Paris.
The young man, in his twenties, had left the department after the fact, worried by the lynching calls circulating on social networks. According to our colleagues from France Bleu Paris, the alleged aggressor is already known to the police, in particular for contempt, but also for offenses against the legislation on narcotics.
The manager of the restaurant also threatened
In the video, the alleged perpetrator states: “I work here, I live here, I pay rent here.” On Monday noon, nearly 150 people gathered in front of Brasco, at the call of a group called the Anti-Negrophobia Brigade, some believing that the alleged assailant was an employee of the restaurant and therefore wishing to claim accounts from the manager.
The latter, invited on the set of the show “Touche pas à mon poste” Monday evening, assured not knowing the alleged aggressor and denied the fact that he was one of his employees. He also specified that he was not on the scene at the time of the attack and that only one employee was present in the kitchen. “It’s an act more than racist, it’s odious what happened”, declared the manager, also threatened with death according to France Bleu Paris. He also filed a complaint.
Pending the outcome of the investigation, the prefect of Val-d’Oise, in agreement with the mayor of Cergy, has decided to take a measure of administrative closure of the restaurant. for seven days for “necessity of order” and “public tranquility”.
Many reactions after the assault
This aggression made many personalities react, starting with the mayor of Cergy, Jean-Paul Jeandon. “It is unacceptable to hear such words in France”, he commented at the microphone of BFM Paris, saying he hoped “let justice go quickly” so that “the tensions are easing”.
For Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racisme, “the remarks of the aggressor are a demonstration of the permanence of the degraded vision of such or such population – here the blacks assimilated to descendants of slaves and animalized – which the History bequeathed”.
As for the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, it announced that its legal commission “considered that the remarks in question were sufficiently qualified for a report to be made to the public prosecutor. If the latter decides to prosecute, the Licra will become a civil party”.