Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: GAIZKA IROZ / AFP 14:26 pm, August 04, 2023A 46-year-old man assaulted during the Bayonne Festival died Thursday after nine days of artificial coma. The investigation opened for attempted murder after the violent attack on this Bayonne on July 26 by three individuals has been reclassified as murder. Police are searching for three individuals between the ages of 20 and 25.
A 46-year-old man assaulted during the Bayonne Festival died Thursday after nine days of artificial coma, AFP learned Friday from the city's prosecutor's office, where a rally against violence is announced in the evening. The investigation opened for attempted murder after the violent attack on this Bayonnais, on July 26 by three individuals, has been requalified as murder, according to the same source, confirming information from France Blue Basque Country.
The mayor of Bayonne, Jean-René Etchegaray, sent on Twitter a "testimony of support and affection" to the family and loved ones of the victim "in this painful ordeal". In a statement, the municipal opposition evoked the "pain, anger and compassion on the part of the inhabitants", calling for a reflection around the Holidays to "refine its meaning" and "thus guarantee their sustainability and safety". A rally "against all violence" is planned Friday at 18:00 at the call of associations and coffee shops of the city.
The Bayonne savagely attacked on the first night of the holidays succumbed to his injuries. On behalf of the Bayonne community, I send our testimony of support and affection to his family and loved ones in this painful ordeal.
— Jean-René Etchegaray (@JreneEtchegaray) August 4, 2023
Three individuals aged 20 to 25 years, wanted
The suspects in the fatal assault are still being sought. The call for witnesses launched the day after the attack was supplemented by a robot portrait of one of them, broadcast since Thursday. The police are looking for three individuals aged between 20 and 25, "of athletic build", having their shirtless at the time of the facts and who would have fled after the attack. The victim was severely beaten on her way home and made a remark to the three men, who were caught urinating outside her door. Suffering from traumatic brain injury, she had been placed in an induced coma.
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In the past, rare cases of fatal attacks have already been recorded during summer festivals in the South-West: an 18-year-old was killed by a knife in Habas (Landes) in 2007 and a 19-year-old was fatally stabbed during a fight in Nay (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) two years later. During the Dax Fair in 1996, an English teacher was fatally attacked by two former students.
In Bayonne, the security system - reinforced since the attack of July 14, 2016 in Nice with more than 1,000 police, gendarmerie and private security agents - represents a third of the budget of the organization of the Festivals, which exceeds three million euros. The event reached a record attendance of 1.3 million "festayres" (festival-goers) this year.