PARIS — A gang of more than 20 youths — thought to be North African immigrants — terrorized hundreds of train passengers in a rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year’s Day, French officials said yesterday.
The five-hour-long criminal frenzy was “totally unacceptable,” French President Jacques Chirac told reporters. “Those guilty will be found and punished, as they deserve.”
The gang of between 20 and 30 youths boarded the train, heading from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on Jan. 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year’s Eve partying overnight.
Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile phones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows.
A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested.
“It was a real scene of pillage on the train,” said the regional state prosecutor, Dominique Luigi, adding that the passengers were in a state of “panic.”
I’m reminded of Hamilton’s quote about a target rich environment–both on that train and any place anti-gun French politicians congregate.