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Boxer 'Who Punched Cop' During Yellow Vest Protest Surrenders to Police

© AP Photo / Michel EulerDemonstrators wearing yellow vests stands next to a burning bicycle at the Champs Elysees avenue during a protest in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019.
Demonstrators wearing yellow vests stands next to a burning bicycle at the Champs Elysees avenue during a protest in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. - Sputnik International
France was shocked at the weekend when footage emerged of a protester punching a policeman to the ground, where he was then kicked, as the "yellow vest" demonstrations again turned ugly.

On Saturday, January 5, the French police union SCPN identified the man throwing the punch as former professional boxer Christophe Dettinger.

"Sir, you who knocked a colleague to the ground, you are identified. For a boxer, you obviously don't respect a lot of rules. We will teach you the Criminal Code," they tweeted.

Police began a manhunt for 37-year-old Dettinger, a former cruiserweight who retired in 2013 after being knocked out by compatriot Jean-Marc Monrose.

But on Monday, January 7, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted that Dettinger had handed himself in to police and been taken into custody.

[Tweet: "The individual who violently attacked the mobile gendarmes on Saturday on the Senghor Bridge presented himself to the investigators in Paris. He was immediately placed in police custody and will have to answer for his actions in court."] 

Dettinger — who fought for the French cruiserweight title in 2011 — comes from Massy, a working-class suburb in the south of Paris which was also home to Manchester United striker Anthony Martial.

'He Was Defending a Woman'

"There was something that set it off, which I learned overnight. There was a woman who was attacked by the CRS (riot police)," Dettinger's former trainer Jacky Trompesauce said on Monday, January 7.

[Tweet: "This individual, this thug, this offender must be arrested and brought to justice. So must his accomplices"] 

Two gendarmes who were injured in the clashes on the Leopold-Sedar-Senghor bridge in central Paris have filed a complaint.

Around 50,000 Yellow Vests — known in France as gilets jaunes after the high visibility jackets many wear — took part in demonstrations against the policies of President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. 

The protests began in November as a rebellion against fuel taxes.

While the French government has scrapped its planned hike in diesel taxes, which is what initially sparked the protests, the "yellow vests" have evolved into a broader movement against government policies and rising living costs. 

They have spread all over the country, including Corsica.

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