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Frenchman fined for breaking COVID-19 lockdown 'to smash a guy's face in'

Frenchman fined for breaking COVID-19 lockdown 'to smash a guy's face in'

A woman, wearing a protective face mask, walks past a closed hair and cosmetic shop in a street in Paris during the second national lockdown, on Nov 19, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

RENNES, France: A man in the Brittany region of northwest France has been fined by police and faces further legal proceedings after breaking the country's coronavirus lockdown with the written explanation that he was going out to "smash a guy's face in".

All people in France who go outdoors for any reason during its current lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic must print or download a form to fill in declaring their reason for leaving home.

READ: France to start easing COVID-19  lockdown rules in three steps: Government spokesman

Police in the town of Lannion said that in the early hours of Saturday (Nov 21) that the man, 39, was found lurking behind a car by a police patrol and asked what he was doing.

"He explained that he was waiting for someone to 'smash their face in' and was carrying a flick knife," local police commander Daniel Kerdraon told AFP.

"He had the written form with his real name and the time he had left home - 10:15pm. But we told him that the reason for going out was not valid."

"In his own way, he was trying to fulfil the letter of the law," he added.

READ: France becomes first European country to top 2 million COVID-19 cases

The man, who had been drinking, was detained overnight and released Saturday morning with a mandatory €135 (US$160) fine for breaking the lockdown rules, and another €150 fine for drunken behaviour.

"We showed him how to fill the form properly and made clear that going out to 'beat someone up' is not a valid reason," Kerdraon said.

The man will be questioned again on Monday for carrying a weapon.

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Source: AFP/ga

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