French paralympian gets stolen arm back

Jul 25, 2012, 07:11 IST | Agencies

The police saved the day for a long jumper planning to take part in the London Paralympics after he had his prosthetic arm stolen by 2 youths

This adds a new line to the definition of ‘armed robbery.’ On Saturday morning, French disabled athlete Arnaud Assoumani, who holds the Paralympic long jump world record, was attacked by two young thieves as he was waiting at a red light on his scooter.

Armed with pepper spray, the two youths blinded Assoumani and proceeded to steal the athlete’s scooter. But they were in for a surprise when they opened the scooter’s trunk, as it contained Assoumani’s training prosthetic arm — absolutely essential to Assoumani’s participation in the Paralympic Games in London.

Armed robbery: The two youth armed with pepper spray blinded Arnaud Assoumani and took away with his scooter that had his prized prosthetic arm in the trunk. During confession, One of them said that he had dumped the hand, which was found later. Pic/Getty Images

The next morning, the police noticed a suspect driver on a scooter in Drancy, about 10 km north of Paris. The young man tried to escape on the stolen scooter before other officers managed to get their hands on the arm robber. In custody, the 17-year-old thief admitted to the theft and was formally recognised by Assoumani. He said he got rid of the prosthesis in a bush in Bobigny, a town in the northeastern suburbs of Paris.

The arm was retrieved and promptly returned to the athlete. The artificial limb was undamaged. The young man was brought before the prosecutor of Bobigny where he will be tried for robbery with violence on a vulnerable person, refusal to comply and driving without a license.

Arnaud Assoumani said he wasn’t surprised the thieves decided to dump the prosthesis, “I don’t see what they could have done with it. It’s so ugly they probably wouldn’t have been able to sell it on eBay.” 

Big Ben to chime 42 times for Olympics
The emblematic Big Ben clock will ring for three minutes to celebrate the first day of the Olympic Games on Friday, organisers said, the first time it has rung outside its regular hours since the funeral of King George VI in 1952. Thousands of bells across Britain, from the Shetland Islands north of Scotland to the UK’s most westerly church in Cornwall, will join in. Big Ben will chime 42 times between 8:12 and 8:15 am on July 27, after special permission was granted.

Go to top