A kidnapping took place on Sunday in La Sallaz. Two days before, the kidnapper sowed panic in the M2 [metro in Lausanne] shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
The physical marks of the wounds are still there: Marco’s* lips are slightly swollen and traces of blood are visible on his skull. But it was mainly in psychological ways that the 29-year-old Neapolitan, who resides in the La Sallaz district of Lausanne, was most affected.
On Sunday, at around 11am, he was walking in front of his building with his 6-month-old baby in his stroller and his dog on a leash. “A man came up to me and asked me, ‘Who is this baby?’ I told him it was my son,” the Italian said. In an unexpected and unlikely way, his interlocutor immediately became delusional. “He said, ‘No, it’s my son.’ I felt the danger. And I held tight to the stroller. That’s when he started beating me. I fell. The stroller flipped over. He continued to kick me before escaping with my baby,” continued the tired Italian.
Elite police and negotiators
Frightened by the kidnapper, the witnesses at the scene did not dare to intervene. But one of them had the presence of mind to alert the police. Meanwhile, Elena*, the mother of the child, received a phone call from her companion, terrified, who told her the disturbing news: a stranger had fled with their child.
While talking on the phone, Marco pursued the abductor to his home, about a hundred yards away. But the stranger barricaded himself in his apartment. With the child. “A man who saw the perpetrator of the abduction told me that he had the bulging devil’s eyes,” says Elena.
The police and elite troops quickly arrived at the scene. A security perimeter was deployed. The negotiators went into action.
When the baby saw me, he gave me a smile
Marco heard the crying of his baby. But he couldn’t do anything and feared the worst. Especially since the kidnapper was on the balcony with the child-hostage. The bargaining cell first convinced the man to feed the child with a bottle that the mother had brought. And after more than two hours of talks, he agreed to put the child on a bed. The elite policemen took the opportunity to launch the assault. The man has been subdued. The child is safe and sound. “He was in the arms of a policeman. He saw me and gave me a smile,” commented Marco with emotion.
The author of the kidnapping is not unknown to the forces of order. He is a 30-year-old Sahrawi [people of the Western Sahara] who does not possess all his mental faculties. Two days earlier he caused panic among the M2 passengers by shouting “Allahu Akbar” in a carriage of the Lausanne metro.
Examined by a physician and heard by a public prosecutor, this permit B holder [work permit holder] had been released. The authorities concluded that he didn’t represent a danger to society. But less than 48 hours later, the facts proved them wrong. The Sahrawi was again heard by the courts on Tuesday afternoon. He would have argued obstinately that the baby was his and that it was Allah who had given him to him. Fearing recidivism, the Court of Coercion ordered a three-month pre-trial detention and a psychiatric examination.
Contacted by “20 minutes”, the Lausanne police simply acknowledged that an intervention had taken place on Sunday in La Sallaz and that an investigation was underway.
* Fictitious names