'Unstable' suspect attacks Cannes studio with blanks and fake grenade

'Unstable' suspect fired blanks and had dummy grenade as he approached TV channel set-up

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 8:27am


A man was arrested at the Cannes Film Festival after he attacked a TV studio with a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said.

There were no casualties in the incident, and the TV channel, France's Canal+, resumed broadcasts after a break of several minutes.

The suspected assailant fired twice in the air as he approached the temporary studio, set up on the Croisette seafront for special coverage of the film festival, they said.

"He said to a woman next to him, 'If I were you, I wouldn't stick around here'," said Michel Denisot, the programme's presenter.

"The police intervened. He had a hand grenade. There were no bullets in the gun and the grenade was a fake," he told viewers.

There was a brief moment of panic in the crowd around the seafront studio, but no-one was hurt.

Marcel Authier, in charge of public security in the local Alpes-Maritimes department, said that the arrested individual was a 42-year-old man. "It's someone mentally unstable who was immediately arrested," Authier said.

Police sources said the man also carried a switchblade knife and had shouted, "I'm doing this in the name of God" during his arrest.

Earlier on Friday, jewellery worth US$1.4 million due to be loaned to stars at the Cannes Film Festival was stolen from a local hotel in a pre-dawn heist, according to French investigators.

The stars have been quick to quip about the theft. "I promise I'm innocent," British actress Emma Watson told The Hollywood Reporter. "I can have someone vouch for my whereabouts at the time of the robbery." Watson is one of the stars of The Bling Ring - a drama about celebrity-obsessed teenagers in Los Angeles who break into the homes of Paris Hilton and other stars.

Singer-actress Bette Midler tweeted: "Cannes hit by $1 million jewelry heist. All jewelry is real; only the boobs are fake."