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Widow: Face-Mask Killing 'Destroyed' My Family

Veronique Monguillot calls for 'exemplary punishment' in the killing of her husband
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2020 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The wife of a French bus driver who was beaten to death after he asked four passengers to wear face masks aboard his vehicle called Saturday for "exemplary punishment" for his killers, the AP reports. The assault on Philippe Monguillot has scandalized France. President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday dispatched the interior minister to meet the driver's widow after his death was announced Friday. He had been hospitalized in critical condition after the July 5 attack. Veronique Monguillot said she told the minister, Gerald Darmanin, that she and their three daughters were "destroyed" by the attack on her husband at a bus stop in Bayonne, southwest France. "We must bang a fist on the table, so this never happens again," she said. "It's barbaric, not normal. We must stop this massacre."

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The Bayonne prosecutor said Monguillot was assaulted after he asked four passengers on his No. 810 bus to wear face masks, which are required aboard French public transport because of the coronavirus pandemic. The driver was insulted, pushed off the bus, and violently beaten and kicked in the head, the prosecutor said. Four people are in custody. "This bus driver was only doing his job," Darmanin said. "He left his home in the morning and did not come back, leaving a widow and three orphan girls." The Guardian reports that thousands took part in a silent march in Bayonne on Monguillot's behalf. France has battled hard to tame its coronavirus outbreak, which saw over 208,000 confirmed infections and over 30,000 virus-related deaths, per Johns Hopkins University.

(Read more murder stories.)

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