French­man’s epic tantrum af­ter long wait for ride

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WELLING­TON: A French hitch­hiker who flew into a rage af­ter spend­ing four days un­suc­cess­fully try­ing to thumb a ride out of a small New Zealand town pleaded guilty to crim­i­nal dam­age yes­ter­day.

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Ver­pre ad­mit­ted de­stroy­ing road signs out of frus­tra­tion at be­ing stranded in the South Is­land tourist des­ti­na­tion of Pu­nakaiki.

Be­mused lo­cals in the tiny set­tle­ment of less than 100 peo­ple ac­cused the tourist of act­ing like a “spoilt mil­len­nial”.

“Oh he threw an ab­so­lute hissy fit; he was ly­ing prone on the road scream­ing that he couldn’t wait to get back to Europe,” busi­ness owner Neil Mouat told The Guardian news­pa­per.

Fair­fax New Zealand re­ported he pulled one road sign from the ground and threw it in a river, be­fore hurl­ing rocks at an­other and ver­bally abus­ing on­look­ers.

It said he pleaded guilty to wilful dam­age – which car­ries a jail term of up to three months – al­though pros­e­cu­tors said they were sim­ply seek­ing NZ$3,000 (RM9,000) to cover dam­age to the signs.

Out­side Grey­mouth court, a still fum­ing Rault-Ver­pre told re­porters he was un­happy with his treat­ment.

“You should change the name to Nazi Zealand, not New Zealand,” he said

He also dis­puted the value of the signs he dam­aged, say­ing: “It isn’t even worth NZ$100”.

Asked how long he had been in New Zealand, he replied “too long, way too long”.

He was re­manded to reap­pear on Fri­day in Christchurch dis­trict court, which is on the other side of the South Is­land.

The New Zealand Her­ald, cit­ing a court­room source, said he planned to hitch­hike there. – AFP

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