The mayor of a Paris suburb has been arrested after attempting, drunk, wearing a flak jacket and armed with a Japanese saber and a handgun, to stop members of the traveling community setting up a camp in his town, police said.
Richard Trinquier was detained on Sunday after he turned up, along with the deputy mayor of the suburb Wissous and two off-duty local police officers, at the car park of a creche where the travellers were attempting to set up a halting site, media reports said.
“He threatened the travelers with a katana,” a long, single-edged sword used by Japanese samurai, officials said, adding that he also had armed himself with a handgun and wore body armor.
“Evidently there were tensions between the mayor and the (traveler) community,” the local prosecutor’s office said.
The mayor of Wissous, a community of about 8,000 people that lies nearly Orly airport south of Paris, reportedly has a license to use a handgun for sporting purposes but does not have a permit to carry a gun in public.
A member of the community with who had the altercation was also arrested on Sunday after police found a rifle in his vehicle.