According to sources close to the investigation, the guy accused of slapping French President Emmanuel Macron in the face managed a club for medieval swordsmanship enthusiasts and had no prior criminal record.
Damien Tarel, 28, was named as the suspect by a police source.
According to the local prosecutor, he is being investigated for assault on a public official.
Macron was attacked on Tuesday during a walkabout in southern France as he welcomed a small gathering of bystanders as he was on a tour to assess the country’s pulse following the outbreak and less than a year before the next presidential election.
Tarel, wearing a khaki T-shirt, then yelled “Down with Macronia” and “Montjoie Saint-Denis,” the French army’s war cry during the monarchy.
According to a person close to the probe, he was “a little confused, a little geeky, a little gamer.”
According to the source, Tarel and a second man remained in police custody on Wednesday.
Assault on a public official carries a maximum punishment of three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.
Tarel was the leader of a local martial arts organization dedicated to the study and practice of ancient European martial arts, such as classical swordsmanship.
After being attacked, Macron stated he had no worry for his safety and resumed shaking hands with members of the public.
“You cannot have violence, or hate, either in speech or deed, otherwise, democracy itself is jeopardized,” Macron said in an interview with the Dauphine Libere daily after the incident.
Disgruntled individuals have already targeted Macron, who was assaulted with eggs by hard-left trade unionists over labor changes in 2016, and was wing shaken two years later after being heckled by anti-government protestors.
“We can disagree with what President Macron has done. We vote next year and there will be plenty of people voting against him,” said Parisian Louis Bernard “but this electoral campaign cannot be based on violence.”