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Jason Howe attacked & robbed in Perpignan

Just wanted to drop a line- Jason Howe was attacked, beaten and robbed by 5 thugs in Perpignan/Visa Pour limage. He ended up with a broken nose and injured face. He’s ok; Im sure the 5 guys are limping and bleeding alot after tangling with him…Wish him well, send get well soon cards, if you are there buy him some wine, etc. After surviving multiple trips to violence racked Colombia, Iraq, etc, its the south of France that finally gets him…

by [a former member] at 2008-09-06 18:02:12 UTC (ed. Sep 10 2008 ) Salt Lake City , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Yes, he was not a pretty site. This, however, did make him into a minor celebrity and has gotten him a major quotient of sympathy hugs (lightly delivered). When I saw him he was indeed up, walking all over the place, talking with people and acting normal. So again he dodged the bullet, so to speak.

by [former member] | 06 Sep 2008 20:09 | Perpignan, France | | Report spam→
Talk about irony… I’m glad he’s ok.

by Guido Van Damme | 07 Sep 2008 09:09 | Lokeren, Belgium | | Report spam→
Hello all, many thanks for the PM’s and emails.
I am fine thank you, a couple of stitches in my lip and a not very badly broken nose. I do keep finding new lumps and bumps on my head and laughing still hurts a bit but otherwise no lasting damage.

Perpignan had a strange edge to it this year, a suicide on Wednesday, my thrashing on Thursday night, another big fight in the street near La Poste the next night and the all night closing party canceled by the mayor for safety reasons.

I have been going to VISA for the last 6 years and like many other folks have thought nothing to taking short cuts through some of the back streets, this time I was spotted and taken down by 5 guys coming from 3 different directions. They did not ask me for money but instead just started punching, after a while I lost my footing and went down at which point they simply began kicking me in the face. They were screaming “money” “money” throughout the attack but did not get the 500 Euros I had in my pocket, they stole my phone which was really annoying because of all the data on the SIM and they took my watch. They only stopped kicking me when my shouting caused windows to open and some folks to come to my aid, at that point they legged it. The police arrested 2 of them within 10 minutes and got the watch back and they caught another 2 the next day. Rather amusingly they also ran off with a limited edition copy of my Colombia book, I hope they at least like the work.

One theory behind this amazingly rapid decline in safety in Perpignan is that there is a huge percentage of the local population who are marginalized and do not benefit in any way shape or form from the festival. Whilst every hotel, restaurant and bar rakes in most of their years income that week all these people get to see are 1000’s of well dressed, camera and laptop toting folks swanning around as though they own the place.

Well this year they certainly got the point across that if they want to cause trouble they can, very easily. Having spoken at length with police and gained a better idea of just how big the racial and criminal problems are in Perpignan it seems we may have just been very very lucky up until now.

I shall certainly take more care there in the future and in the meantime I will look forward to heading back to some nice and safe like Kabul.

by [former member] | 08 Sep 2008 16:09 (ed. Sep 8 2008) | East Anglia, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sorry for this, and that it could happens now in south of France.

Glad you are nearly ok after that. Did you backed up your SIM on computer. A half safe measure.

Any hope to have your phone back, and if not have the SIM blocked.

25 year ago you could be gun pointed in Mexico, not yet in France. We could see that also. I have been knife pointed by four Gypsies in Pampelune, one knife on throat, the other one under eyes. Best defense is what you did, shout with strength for help. Result is variable, but can help.

by Daniel Legendre | 08 Sep 2008 18:09 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
I guess that deserves a beer in NYC if you are around, bloody annoying little ****s!

by Daniel Cuthbert | 10 Sep 2008 07:09 (ed. Sep 10 2008) | Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa | | Report spam→
That’s ironic, I had a similar experience in Paris back in 2002, after travelling in 12 countries with all my gear, not one incident, I got jumped by 2 North Africans at 6 AM in the morning at the Gare du Nord M° station, I’d been with a tour visiting the metro all night and was feeling quite spaced out and tired trying to figure out connections on the underground map when I felt a force lifting me from behind, didn’t understand anything at first and then I knew I was being mugged, one guy had his arm round my neck and was pulling me backwards off balance, the other came round the front and tried to detach my camera bum bag but couldn’t, I tried hitting him but missed so he head butted me but didn’t make clean contact and then kicked me in the leg and did! Meanwhile the other guy really squeezed my neck and I sort of lost consciousness for some seconds, to cut the story short, they got my bumbag, which luckily only had a few Nepalese roupies and a small flashgun in it. The camera and flash were in my regular backpack because strangely I couldn’t unfasten the flash, when putting stuff away, coincidence?
What did I learn? Keep the important stuff inconspicuous and have a disposable lure: something they can take that has a non-essential, maybe a bit of cash. Also, if something is going to happen, well it just does and even if you’re strong, it doesn’t mean much against trained and determined attackers.
Still I was lucky to only get away with a sore neck, broken glasses and a small loss, glad they weren’t using knives.
Who knows, might have turned into the hulk once tickled?

by Andrew Wheeler | 10 Sep 2008 18:09 | Paris, France | | Report spam→

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Participants

Guido Van Damme, Photographer Guido Van Damme
Photographer
Brussels , Belgium
Daniel Legendre, Photographer Daniel Legendre
Photographer
Paris , France
Daniel Cuthbert, button clicker Daniel Cuthbert
button clicker
(..)
London , United Kingdom ( LHR )
Andrew Wheeler, Photographer Andrew Wheeler
Photographer
Paris , France


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