Video footage shows how the inspection of a stolen vehicle in Schaerbeek went completely wrong earlier this year. A police officer was dragged dozens of meters and was ultimately incapacitated for eleven days. The driver of the car has now been convicted, but according to the officer’s lawyer, he gets off far too easily. That’s what ‘La Dernière Heure’ writes.
The entire incident only lasts about seven seconds and dates back to April 2 this year, but the video footage is only now being shown for the first time. Just after midnight, police officers in Schaarbeek noticed a French, black Audi A3. It turns out to have been signaled, because the car has been stolen. The police officers approach the car and knock on the window. “Police! Open the windows! Put the keys on the dashboard!”, they shout. But instead of obeying, the driver drives away.
With their service weapons drawn, the officers give chase and through the busier traffic they overtake the car further on. Inspector C. tries to get the key to the vehicle from the driver’s side, while his colleague Inspector Simon V. tries from the passenger side. During that maneuver, Simon V.’s forearm gets stuck in the door, just as the driver drives away again. The officer is dragged about 50 meters, while the car does not slow down. The Audi drives into a one-way road, so he has to drive partly onto the sidewalk to avoid an oncoming car.
The inspector shouts for the man to stop, but he doesn’t. He continues zigzagging. Simon V. is eventually able to free himself and miraculously stands up again immediately.
The driver stopped the car about a hundred meters away and was arrested. It turns out to be Samson, a 21-year-old Frenchman from Boulay-Moselle. There are also two other occupants in the car. They confirmed during interrogations that the driver clearly knew that they were police officers. They had identified themselves and also wore the police logo. According to the French-language newspaper La Dernière Heure, one of the passengers managed to obtain the key to the vehicle, which eventually brought the car to a stop.
Police officer Simon V. was unable to work for eleven days.
Known by court
Samson, the 21-year-old Frenchman, was released by the judge with a warning and was not in pre-trial detention. During the trial he stated that he had smoked cannabis that evening and had also had a drink. The young man is also known to the French judiciary for a number of offenses, including violence, theft, drugs, transporting war materials and criminal conspiracy.
The judge ruled that the facts were “very serious, revealed a deep contempt for the police and could have led to serious or even fatal injuries to police officer Simon V.” Yet the Frenchman ‘only’ received a suspended prison sentence of two years.
An appeal procedure would not be possible. V.’s lawyer, Bernard Tieleman, is said to be furious about the ruling, according to La Dernière Heure.