French hostage-taker put in mental hospital

10th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

LE MANS, France, March 10, 2006 (AFP) - A former teacher who took 23 people hostage in a western French school before surrendering was put in a psychiatric hospital Friday suffering apparent paranoia, a state prosecutor said.

LE MANS, France, March 10, 2006 (AFP) - A former teacher who took 23 people hostage in a western French school before surrendering was put in a psychiatric hospital Friday suffering apparent paranoia, a state prosecutor said.

Nicolas Vilpail, 33, sparked a five-hour police standoff at the school in Sable-sur-Sarthe on Thursday when he locked himself in a classroom where he taught two years ago with 21 teenaged students and two class supervisors.

He eventually released the hostages unharmed and surrendered without violence after prolonged negotiations. Officials said he had used a pistol that fired rubber bullets to sequester the 23.

In custody, Vilpail gave an "incoherent" explanation for his actions and talked about "being the victim of a government plot, and speaking about secret agents," prosecutor Christian Elek told a media conference.

He said the former teacher, who had resigned late last year, had apparently also been shaken by a failed marriage and failure to find work.

Vilpail was placed in a mental institution in the nearby town of Allonnes for a psychiatric evaluation.

If he was found to be genuinely unstable, that may attenuate charges against him, Elek said. Failing that, he faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of hostage-taking.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article