Belgian police in embarrassing punch-up

22nd April 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 April 2004 , BRUSSELS - A member of Belgium's federal police force ended up having a fistfight with a local officer in Charleroi after being stopped for dangerous driving, Belgian broadcaster Bel-RTL reported on its website on Thursday.

22 April 2004

BRUSSELS - A member of Belgium's federal police force ended up having a fistfight with a local officer in Charleroi after being stopped for dangerous driving,  Belgian broadcaster Bel-RTL reported on its website on Thursday.

The incident happened after the federal officer, a Flemish speaking plain-clothes policeman, overtook then cut in front of his uniformed French speaking counterpart on a road leading into the south Belgian city.

The local police, unaware at this point that the dangerous driver was also a colleague, followed the detective's unmarked car with the intention of giving its occupant a serious talking to. 

Things turned from bad to worse when the plainclothes cop was unable to explain to his uniformed counterpart who he was. He only spoke Dutch and the Walloon officer only spoke French.

Unimpressed with the Flemish detective's furious efforts to make himself understood, the French-speaking officer put his superior in an arm lock in a bid to calm the situation down.

His actions had the opposite effect, however, and a fistfight broke out.

"The situation degenerated," a police spokesman later told the media before adding that as a result of the fracas one of the officers was "slightly injured" and had to take three days off work.

The two men did eventually realise they were supposed to be on the same side and the Charleroi police have since apologised to their federal colleagues.

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Subject: Belgian news

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