Nerves of Steel: Estrosi talks bomber down in Vieux Nice

It was a scene straight out of Dog Day Afternoon:  A desperate lunatic, who for years has filled the windows of his Vieux Nice shoe store with slogans insulting the Mayor, calls the Mayor’s office and yells ominously, “…You’ve WON!”   He then barricades himself in his shoe store with several cans of gasoline, intending to blow himself up …and the building with him.

The freaked out employees call the police, and sirens blare as the SWAT team arrives in force.  Twenty police in full bomb-squad gear surround the building and cordon off the area, while the elite snipers in black take position.  The chief negotiator tries to make contact, but the raving, pacing madman just yanks the ringing phone off the wall and smashes it, yelling, “…Leave me in PEACE!”

“I’m going in! Hold your fire!” Photo: Francois Vignola, Nice-Matin

Next his cellphone rings and this time he answers, but before he can yell, he realizes it’s Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who, known for his silver tongue, amazingly talks the crazed would-be human torch down from the brink, all the while racing to the scene.  Once there, the police warn Estrosi not to go in alone, but Estrosi orders the police to lower their guns and goes in anyway, saying, “I take the responibility!”

After 45 minutes, the unfortunate unlocks the grille and emerges from his store arm in arm with “his Mayor” as he now calls him, and willingly allows himself to be tranquilized by his waiting doctor and taken to the hospital.

The next day, a transformed Eric Melloul was looking forward to the future and assured the Nice-Matin that he is not mentally ill or on meds.    He said that Christian Estrosi spoke to him “super bien” and Melloul was so impressed by the Mayor that he apologised for the 5 years of venimous anti-Estrosi slogans in his shop windows and promised to take them down the next day.   Melloul explained that his anger started with the tramway construction work outside his store, which he felt that he was not adequetly compensated for, and that now his shoe store only makes 50€ a day (hmmm… could the storefront being filled with crazed rants have had anything to do with that?)   He was behind on his rent and about to lose his lease …and all he really wanted was to open a restaurant.   His new buddy Estrosi promised to approve his Change of Use Permit, so look for the discount shoe store to become Lou Cabanon Nissart, coming soon… Just don’t order the crepes flambé.

Click here for a photo slide show

Nice-Matin: Desespere, il menace de s’immoler par le feuLe forcene nicois veut tourner la page


Photo credit: Nice-Matin, Francois Vignola

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4 Responses to Nerves of Steel: Estrosi talks bomber down in Vieux Nice

  1. Coco Chanel says:

    So hilarious I had to get some ice for my ribs! And that includes Maypay’s comment about our “sleepy” little town! But bravo to Mayor Estrosi, our very own Superman. Now if he could just get started on the Blue Whale…

  2. Carlo says:

    Grazie. E’ sempre un piacere leggere i tuoi commenti divertenti, interessanti e curiosi !

    Le crepes flambé ce le faremo noi a casa !


  3. Maypay says:

    Your findings just get more and more stupefying. Did this really happen in our sleepy little town of Nice? And Bravo to the Mayor for his intervention to save this desperate guy from his downward spiral. Estrosi should wear his superman cape at the parade on July 14.

    • Bruce Bethany says:

      Sleepy little town? Try to sleep at 3 A.M. on a Friday night in your 4th floor walk-up in Rue de Prefecture. Bonne chance!