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French Paralympic Athlete Gets Stolen Arm Back

EUROPE 1, RMC SPORT (France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS – 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, French radio station Europe 1 reports.

Armed with pepper spray, the two youth 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 next Paralympic Games in London.

The next morning, the police noticed a suspect driver on a scooter in Drancy, about 10km 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 recognized 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 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 says 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," he told French radio station RMC.

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