“She was determined, she was hooked on me and my spear and she absolutely wouldn’t let go.” A gesture for which Hager A., the woman who assaulted a firefighter during the May Day demonstration, was sentenced to ten months in prison and a one-year ban on protesting on Wednesday. This 38-year-old mother was sent back to the Paris Criminal Court for “violence against a person in charge of a public service mission, contempt, rebellion, participation in a group with a view to committing violence or degradation during a demonstration and hindering the arrival of relief intended to combat a disaster that is dangerous to people”.
In the videos taken that day, which looped for several days, Hager A. tries to snatch the fire hose from a firefighter putting out a fire started by demonstrators. After several unsuccessful attempts, she strikes him twice on the helmet, the visor of which cracks, before being subdued.
“We are going to smash you like in 2019”
However, this Wednesday, the defendant could not explain her gesture. This mother, accustomed to demonstrations of yellow vests and against the vaccination pass, did not appear in court. Her two lawyers, who were asking for a dismissal, spoke of psychological fragility and anxiety attacks, arguing that she had gone to the psychiatric emergency room and that a work stoppage had been prescribed for her. “She does not intend to evade justice, she intends to explain herself, but she is not in a state to appear at the moment”, they pleaded.
An insufficient reason for the president who opposed them to an end of inadmissibility. In protest, the two lawyers decided to leave the room, arguing that they had no mandate to defend her. A decision which reacted even in the public benches: “You are going to judge someone in her absence because she is in the public hospital”, exclaimed a man, before being expelled by the forces. of the order.
It was therefore without a defendant and without a lawyer that the hearing began, starting with the testimony of the young 21-year-old firefighter who was trying at the time of the events to extinguish a fire that was in danger of spreading to an apartment building. “She told me several times ‘we’re going to smash you like in 2019′”, in reference to the demonstrations of the “yellow vests” movement, he said at the bar, explaining that he pushed her away. hand. “You dare to attack a woman? “, then launched Hager A., before hitting him in the head. “It surprised me, but my priority was not to let go of my spear,” he said in front of a room filled, largely with journalists.
A sentence beyond the requisitions
“It will have taken this file for the population and France to realize the reality of these men who are beaten and insulted every day”, regretted Me Jérôme Andréi, the lawyer of the firefighter, but also of the prefect of police of Paris , who filed a civil action. Because conversely, “if it was she who had been injured, he would not have hesitated to risk his life”, he pleaded, reminding the room of the motto of the Paris firefighters, “Save or perish”.
For the prosecutor, this former “caregiver”, present as a “street medic” at the demonstration – these volunteers who provide first aid to injured people -, “had the intention, the desire and the intention to participate to a violent movement”, he hammered, recalling that a hammer and a mask had been found in his bag, as well as police and fire badges, probably stolen during demonstrations. Snapshots of her wearing a yellow vest or posing in combat fatigues were also found on her phone by investigators.
Evoking “a person reluctant to institutions”, the prosecutor demanded eight months of imprisonment. But the court more severe by condemning Hager A. to ten months in prison. At the end of the hearing, Me Jérôme Andréi said he was satisfied: “It is a fair sentence, commensurate with the seriousness of the attack on this firefighter”, he declared. “We would have preferred her to be at the helm, but she chose not to come. She could not hold the court hostage,” he added. In addition to ten months in prison and the ban on demonstrations, the defendant will have to pay 700 euros to the firefighter for moral damages, and a symbolic euro to the prefect of police.