At the foot of the white towers of the Balichon district in Bayonne (Pyrenees-Atlantiques), the residents have all heard of the very violent attack on Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver, at the neighboring Tram’bus stop. This Tuesday, the prosecution requested the indictment of two young men for attempted homicide. Two others were charged with failing to assist a person in danger. Shocked, some residents are surprised that an act of such violence could have occurred in this small quiet city located one kilometer from the historic center of Bayonne. Others, on the contrary, are not surprised and display a certain exasperation.
Like Denise, a sexagenarian who has lived here since childhood. “No really, here, it’s not like before, it has really deteriorated, it becomes the city of anything!” “, She scolds. She speaks of increasingly frequent incivilities and a growing feeling of insecurity. So, when, Monday morning, she meets police in the elevator of her building, she is barely surprised.
VIDEO. Bus driver assaulted Bayonne: “Philippe was a good guy”, says a colleague
“They told me that they were there to arrest people following the attack on the bus driver.” The police go up to the 9th floor and stand in front of the brown door, number “129”. “There was a row of police officers in the hallway and I heard a loud bang,” said another resident. Behind this door is Mohamed A. He is 40 years old and has lived here for 6 years. The police came out of the apartment with him and three other men who were staying with him. The four men are then transferred to the Bayonne police station where they are placed in police custody.
“We suspected that one day there would be a drama”
According to a neighbor, Mohamed A., had lived alone in the apartment since the death of his partner last October. “He’s a thin man, his face marked by alcohol and drugs. We often saw him in the morning with his beers. He didn’t respect anything. At home, it was parading, there were always people. In my opinion, the people who were arrested with him had been there for a fortnight, they were people passing through. “In his apartment, there was always noise, sometimes we heard fights. We had alerted, we were waiting for him to leave, we suspected that one day there would be a drama! Says another neighbor. Yet another claims to have noticed a group of “outsiders” who were squatting more and more in the neighborhood.
At the foot of the towers, the arrest of Mohamed A., therefore did not surprise those who live there even if his role in this affair remains undetermined. A young man does not mince his words: “He was always there scratching cigarettes and when he was in a group with other people, they drank, they spoke loudly, they fought among themselves. We knew that if we passed by them and there was a crooked look, it could end badly. “From there to attack the bus driver on Sunday evening?
Fight and death blow
For the moment, caution is advised in this file and many questions remain unanswered on the precise course of the assault. But according to the first elements of the investigation, a first scenario is emerging on what could have happened on Sunday. Five individuals are said to have entered the Tram’bus at Bayonne station. It would appear that they were not wearing a mask and had no ticket. According to Philippe’s wife, her husband had a problem at 2 p.m. with two people who did not have a ticket. Then at 7:10 p.m., at the Balichon stop, another man entered with his dog, a dangerous pit bull type dog.
Did he know the group already on the bus? When he arrived, Philippe would then have gone to meet the group and a fight would have broken out on the quay with three of the individuals. Then, it was then that the driver returned to the bus that one of the attackers had struck him the fatal blow. This individual is said to be a young man in his twenties who was therefore arrested at the home of Mohamed A., the day after the attack.
Another individual, Yoann C., 34, who was arrested on Sunday evening some time after the assault, was released. He appears to have been a mere witness to the facts. A young woman who knew him at the Albert-Camus college in Bayonne talks about a young man marked by the death of his sister several years ago in a road accident. A thirty-something who “struggles and drags in Bayonne”, according to his comings and goings in detention.