The police officer, still hospitalized, suffered fractures of the sacrum and a lumbar vertebra, added Mr. Vicentini during a press briefing, adding that he had been prescribed more than two months of work interruption .

“There is also (…) a proven state of shock”, underlined Guillaume Tison, central commissioner of Valenciennes.

The driver, a 29-year-old Moroccan, is still in police custody for possession of narcotics, refusal to comply, carrying a knife and “attempted murder of a police officer”, a qualification which, if she was retained, would cause him to incur life imprisonment.

“For the moment, the homicidal intention is denied” by the suspect, specified the prosecutor, who underlined the policy of “zero tolerance” applied for this type of offense, whose alleged perpetrators are “systematically referred” and presented to a magistrate even in the absence of a victim.

The man had already been sentenced five times in France, including one for aggravated refusal to comply, Vicentini said. In 2019, he had indeed been sentenced to 10 months in prison, including 4 suspended and probation, a sentence fully served at the time of the events.

Monday around 11:30 p.m., he fled during a customs check near Maubeuge (North), before trying to avoid a portcullis and knock over a police officer deployed to intercept him on a roundabout about fifty kilometers away. from there, to Anzin, in the outskirts of Valenciennes, around 0:15.

In his car, the police discovered packages containing 11 kilos of heroin, a “substantial” amount, said Mr. Vicentini.

He also had bladed weapons, a knife and brass knuckles. Investigations are underway on the authenticity of the Belgian identity papers found on him.

According to Gérald Darmanin, “41 seriously injured police officers and gendarmes” are to be deplored during refusal to comply since January 1. The last police death in these circumstances dates back to August 2020 in Sarthe.

Fatal police shootings when they refuse to comply have caused 10 deaths since the beginning of the year.