When French President Nicolas Sarkozy greeted a small crowd during an appearance in the southwestern town of Brax today, most people went for the traditional handshake. But one man had other plans. Hermann Fuster, a 32-year old municipal theater worker from the area, grabbed Sarkozy hard by the lapel of his suit and knocked him against the metal barrier amidst cries of surprise from the crowd. There are several things to take note of in the footage below. First, Sarkozy isn't the biggest guy in the world, but he manages to stay on his feet. His bodyguards, meanwhile, wrestle the attacker to the ground within five seconds, and Sarkozy goes back to smiling and shaking hands in under ten seconds. Also, check out the guy who joins the crowd right after the assault takes place and doesn't know what's going on. After the incident, Sarkozy told journalists "no problem, no problem," according to The Telegraph.
What were Fuster's motives? It's still unclear, but The Telegraph points out that Fuster describes himself online as a fan of a book about modern man being a slave to capitalism and Sarkozy is often criticized by the left as the "president of the rich." A source close to the investigation tells Le Monde that Fuster may have opposed the military intervention in Libya, which France has spearheaded.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.