French police have thanked social media users who reported disturbing footage of assaults on a number of elderly citizens, including one reportedly homeless man, confirming that an active investigation into the incident was now underway.
Amateur cellphone footage unearthed on Sunday showed a group of individuals driving a vehicle through an unconfirmed French city, grabbing the arms of elderly pedestrians and proceeding to drive off at speed, causing their victims to run alongside the vehicle and exert themselves before they were released by their attackers and thrown to the pavement.
The footage was published alongside a caption which read “Giggles of the evening,” with the camera regularly being flipped to show the occupants of the car, who appeared to be of foreign origin.
Damien Rieu, the co-founder of the now-banned Generation Identity, tweeted the footage to his social media followers, sparking outrage with a number of users tagging it to French authorities.
“They have found a new idea to terrorize: they grab and run pedestrians in the street,” commented Rieu.
One of the victims, who is called Ali, is reportedly homeless. A photo of his injuries was posted to Twitter.
A French police Twitter account, representing the force responsible for the protection of Paris and its suburbs, condemned the attack in a post on Monday, and thanked social media users for alerting their attention to it.
“La @prefpolice thanks the internet users who sent this video to the reporting portal #Pharos. An investigation was immediately initiated to find the perpetrators of this gratuitous assault,” they confirmed.
No further comment has yet been made by the French police and no arrests are understood to have been made.