Police have detained a man who they believe attacked a young French woman outside of a Paris cafe last month after she shut down his attempt at sexually harassing her in the street. Surveillance footage of the incident, which showed a man throwing an ashtray at 22-year-old student Marie Laguerre and then hitting her in the face after she allegedly told him to “shut up” in response to his lewd comments, had gone viral and sparked renewed discussion about the pervasive problem of street harassment in the country after Laguerre wrote on Facebook about the incident.
“I told him to shut up and kept walking away, because I can’t stand this kind of behavior. I can’t keep quiet, and we mustn’t keep quiet any longer,” she wrote at the time.
On Monday, police detained a man as he left the grounds of a psychiatric hospital on allegations of assault and sexual harassment, according to a police source. Laguerre, 22, is expected to be called in to identify whether the man was the one who attacked her.
After the brazen attack, Laguerre had worked to draw attention to her story and those of other French women who suffered harassment by creating the website Nous Toutes Harcelement, or “We are all harassed,” to provide a space for victims to share their own accounts of harassment. Earlier this month, French lawmakers officially passed a bill to make publicly catcalling women a crime punishable by a fine, as well as an amendment to consent laws that allow for sex with minors under the age of 15 to be considered rape if the younger party were ruled not competent of giving consent.
Below, see the surveillance video of the incident.
Read the full story at The Guardian.