A man using a launderette in a Paris suburb says he was beaten by two men with baseball bats in front of his young children after asking a customer to put on a face mask.
Masks are obligatory inside all public places in France to combat a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
The alleged victim, named only as Augustin, 44, told French television he was folding up his washing in the launderette on Sunday afternoon with his children aged five and seven when a man entered without a mask.
He said the man replied “I’ll do what I want” when asked to put one on. A row then reportedly broke out. The non-mask-wearing customer left the premises in , north of the French capital.
He returned moments later with three friends, two of them wielding baseball bats, the alleged victim said.
Surveillance video of the attack published on Tuesday by Le Parisien newspaper showed two people with bats and two others attacking a masked man inside the launderette before fleeing, leaving the mask-wearing customer lying face down on the floor.
The man, who has lodged a legal complaint for “aggravated violence”, was taken to hospital with a head injury requiring stitches and suffered bruising and injuries to his back. The children were said to be shocked but unhurt.
Last month, a French bus driver died after he was attacked by passengers who refused to wear face masks. Philippe Monguillot, 59, was assaulted in the south-western town of Bayonne after he asked three passengers to wear masks – in line with coronavirus rules across France – and tried to check another man’s ticket.
Two men have been charged with attempted murder, two others with non-assistance to a person in danger and another with attempting to hide a suspect, the local prosecutor’s office said at the time.