French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face, leading police to arrest two men, a spokesman for the National Gendarmerie told NBC News on Tuesday.
The two suspects were arrested after the incident, which occurred during Macron’s visit to a school in southeast France, NBC reported.
The trip to the Tain-Hermitage school, which specializes in the restaurant industry, came on the eve of the French government lifting restrictions on indoor dining and other measures implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.
Macron was scheduled to meet with restaurant industry representatives, NBC reported.
Video of the incident shows Macron, wearing a black mask, approaching a crowd of people standing on the other side of a partition. Macron appears to pat the forearm of the closest person in the crowd, who is clad in a green T-shirt and a white mask.
As Marcon appears to start inching down the line of onlookers, the person moves to slap the president in the face, the video shows.
Bodyguards for Macron immediately swarmed the man and hurried the president away from him. Macron returned to greet the crowd farther down the line, according to the video.
The suspects are in custody and French authorities are investigating the case, NBC reported. One person was arrested for the slap itself, while the other suspect’s role is yet unclear, according to NBC.
Macron in a tweet earlier Tuesday had used the visit to the Drome region school to highlight the latest steps in his government’s Covid reopening plan.
Starting Wednesday, curfews will be extended to 11 p.m. and indoor dining will once again be permitted at restaurants and bistros, NBC reported. The remaining restrictions will be lifted at the end of June, depending on the prevalence of the pandemic in France at that time.
“Tomorrow, a new step will be taken,” a translation of Macron’s tweet said. “It is life that will resume in all our territories! It is part of our culture, of our art of living, that we are going to rediscover.”