Man beaten to death in Grande-Synthe: the preferred homophobic track?

Philippe, 22, died from his injuries on Tuesday April 16.

Man beaten to death in Grande-Synthe: the preferred homophobic track?

Philippe, 22, died from his injuries on Tuesday April 16. He had been beaten the previous night in Grande-Synthe (North). Two minors were arrested and taken into custody this Wednesday.

Two arrests took place on Wednesday, April 17, in the morning, after the beating of Philippe, 22, found unconscious in a parking lot behind the Carrefour Contact store in the commune of Grande-Synthe (North), 20,000 residents. Two minors aged 14 and 15 were taken into police custody and hearings are continuing this Thursday to try to determine the motive for the attack. The third attacker is still wanted by the authorities as part of an investigation into “organized gang murder” opened by the Dunkirk public prosecutor’s office.

The use of an ax and machetes has not yet been confirmed. According to a source close to the investigation with France 3 Hauts-de-France, “the homophobic track is favored”. “The attack allegedly took place following an appointment on a gay dating site.” On the other hand, no link has been established with a previous attack in the sector" specifies the media. A white march will take place in honor of Philippe, this Friday April 19 at 11 a.m., in front of the Noordover high school where he had been schooled.

While Le Figaro on Wednesday put forward the possibility of an ambush, orchestrated via social networks, several other media, including Le Parisien, reported that Philippe was attacked while he was simply returning home. On the phone with this employee of a socio-educational center in Grande-Synthe at the time of his attack, a friend of Philippe's allegedly had a quick exchange with one of the attackers before the latter ended the conversation by hanging up. It was this friend who would have alerted Philippe's relatives so that they could go looking for him in the middle of the night.

Discovered unconscious, the unfortunate man presented "several traces of blows, particularly to the face". Philippe was immediately transported to Dunkirk hospital before being sent to the Lille hospital center. "He was at his friend's house at the end of my street. He came back towards my house, 200 meters ago, 300 meters maximum. And they caught him on the way," revealed one of the victim's brothers this Wednesday afternoon on RTL. And the second brother, Dylan, added: "What we know is that he was pulled towards the Carrefour, behind the parking lot. They must have finished the job there."

Confident that he had little additional information, the first brother, Kelvyn, explained that the individuals only hit his brother “in the face.” “But if he died from blows to the head, it’s because they were strong and they hit him well,” he said. The victim's brother also revealed that, during the attack, Philippe's phone as well as "personal belongings" were stolen. And to confide about the attackers: “This gang has made several attacks that they are trying to commit in Grande-Synthe.”

At the end of the day on Wednesday, the city's mayor, Martial Beyaert, held a press conference during which he wished to condemn the political exploitation of this sad affair. “Grande-Synthe is not a lawless zone,” he argued, denouncing in passing the “exactions of the fascist on social networks,” relays France Bleu. Regarding the victim, Martial Beyaert spoke of a young man “very favorably known in the town”. And to detail: “He had worked after-school, in the school canteen and was to start a contract on the Amazon platform in Bergues. He was perfectly socially integrated.” Earlier in the day, the mayor of the town had already expressed his emotion on Facebook and shared the link to the fundraiser launched by the victim's relatives to help the family pay for the funeral.