THE voter who slapped the French President Emmanuel Macron is a “Hitler-loving fanatic” as “weapons and a copy of Mein Kampf” were found at his home.
Detectives swooped on the home of the man – identified only as Damien T. – shortly after he was arrested for the violent and foul-mouthed attack on the 43-year-old head of state on Tuesday.
MAcron was trying to shake hands with members of the public[/caption]
“The assailant’s home was raided and weapons and a copy of Mein Kamf were seized” said an investigating source.
Shocking footage showed the man dressed in a green t-shirt, glasses and a face mask shouting “Down with Macronia!” before slapping Macron’s face.
Damien T. is in custody and is facing up to three years in prison and a fine equivalent to some £40,000, the source added.
According to Le Parisien he is a medieval times enthusiast who dresses up in costumes of that era and takes part in re-enacments as it appears from his Instagram profile.
A source told the outlet he lives “in a kind of parallel world made of role-playing games, simulations of medieval fights.”
Le Figaro adds that he also practices kendo, a Japanese martial art.
A second man identified as Arthur C is also in custody for swearing at the President and shouting “Down with Macronie!” – a reference to the Macron administration, which is in its fourth year.
Both men were also shouting Royalist slogans linked to far-Right movements in France.
Mr Macron was trying to shake hands with members of a crowd in the town of Tain-l’Hermitage, in the Drome department of South East France, when the attack happened.
The French President was slapped by a voter[/caption]
There are regional elections in two weeks, and Mr Macron also has his eye on winning over voters in time for presidential elections in 2022, when he hopes to win a second term of office.
The French president reached out his hand to greet the man in the green t-shirt – but he grabbed his arm and slapped him in the face.
The crowd erupted as Macron’s security entourage quickly pulled him away from the fence where he was greeting the voters.
“Mr Macron appeared very relaxed and thought he was getting a good reception from those watching him,” an eyewitness said.
“He was outside a catering school when he stuck his right hand towards a man who promptly grabbed it.
“Then the man slapped the president in the face, before Mr Macron was pulled away by security guards.”
There were shouts of “f*** off” as he was swiftly bundled away.
A few minutes beforehand, Mr Macron had launched an appeal for “peace across France”, and called for people to “respect one another”.
Mr Macron’s prime minister Jean Castex criticised the attacker saying: “Politics should have nothing to do with violence.”
Security quickly pulled him away from the fence[/caption]
Two videos of the incident were posted on Twitter, and were soon going viral.
Mr Macron was on the second stage of his Tour de France of the territories, said an Élysée Palace spokesman who added: “He was not seriously hurt in the incident’.
It comes as last month serving French soldiers signed a letter accusing him of surrendering to Islamists.
The warning published in right-wing magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, claimed France was on the brink of civil war as a result of the president’s failure to tackle extremists.
The move was welcomed by Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Rally party, who is widely seen as Macron’s main challenger in the presidential race.
It comes amid growing concern in France over ISIS-linked terror attacks and what some see as a breakdown of the nation’s secular ideals.
The beheading of teacher Samuel Paty last year sparked mass protests in favour of free speech and a government crackdown on “separatists”.
In July last year, Macron and his wife Brigitte were verbally abused by a group of protesters while taking an impromptu walk through the Tuileries gardens in central Paris.
In November 2018 six activists linked to the far Right were arrested in connection with a “violent plot” against Mr Macron.
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The six were picked up by anti-terrorism units in the eastern French regions of Moselle and Isère.
It is not the first time that Mr Macron has been attacked by angry crowd members while out in public.
In 2016 – before he became President a year later – Mr Macron was pelted with eggs by Communist Party members outside a post office in the Paris suburb of Montreuil.