On the day we moved to our new apartment there was a bit of excitement on Île St. Louis. Scotty came back from running an errand and told me that the main street down the center of the ile was shut down and there were police everywhere. Well, I got curious, so we headed out to see what the fuss was all about. At the end of our street a small crowd has started gathering. It would quickly grow as things got more interesting. And Scotty was right – there were police vans, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks everywhere.
At first we were confused because it just looked like there were police and firemen everywhere, mostly just waiting, walking back and forth between their cars. There were some pretty scary looking guys with masks, big guns. There was a police dog guarding the entrance to one building. And then I noticed that there was a huge balloon-like thing set up further down the road. That made us look up and then we spotted this: Yeah. NO idea what was going on and a search through Paris newspapers yielded no results. The funny thing was the guys rappelling down the building just sort of hung out there for a while. The police were walking around, tourists were gathering and snapping pictures. It was all very calm considering these guys were about to bust through a window. Here’s a very poor-quality video we shot.
The funniest thing about it was that there were two police at our end of the street who had taped of the street and were stopping people. They were checking IDs, answering some questions, etc. Well, when the special ops guys had finally entered the building and things seemed to be calming down, this old French lady walked up and was determined to get down the street. The police tried to stop her and she just started yelling. Really yelling. And she was classic – she had a cane, was dragging her shopping trolley behind her, hat perched on her stubborn head. She really didn’t care that there were police everywhere, that dozens of other people were patiently waiting. When the police made it clear that they were not going to let her go by, she started hitting the police woman with her cane and jamming her shopping trolley into her. I couldn’t believe it. We tried to get video of that but it was too chaotic. This went on for a few minutes and then one of the guys who had rappelled into the building walked by and everything was over and the crazy woman was able to go on her merry way.
After that, it seemed that things were done. I would have normally thought that it was some sort of elaborate movie scene given the setting. I mean it’s such a common occurrence in the area, but there were no cameras. So strange.