A trip to Malta turned out to be a nightmare for a young French student. After a night out, he had to pee urgently when leaving a disco. When a cop caught him, he had the wrong reflex and fled. Then it went completely wrong.
21-year-old Titouan Billaud from Nantes is staying as an Erasmus student in Granada, Spain. At the beginning of February he went with two friends for a few days vacation to the southern European island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. On their last evening, the night of 5 to 6 February, the three went to a disco.
When they left it in the morning, things went wrong. Titouan had to pee urgently and did so in public. Unfortunately for the Sports Sciences student, a cop just came by. He spoke to him about urinating in public, both in Maltese and English.
The French student did not understand. “In a few seconds, everything went wrong,” he says. “Because I didn’t understand what he was saying, I ran away. I was panicking. It was already 5 or 6 o’clock. I didn’t want to miss my return flight at 10 am.”
However, he did not get far. Four policemen started the chase and almost immediately caught him. “They all flew at me. They stomped and hit. I tried to protect myself with my elbows. In the end, they caught me and took me to the police station.”
The student had no idea how big the consequences would be as a policeman broke two of his fingers during the arrest.
“Probably while he struck me,” says Titouan. “They were four. I don’t see how I could have injured him. “
Because of the incident, he ended up in pre-trial detention. He would appear in court on 15 February. But things went wrong there too. The case was postponed until March 27. “I thought everything was over. My year gone, my studies, my exams … “
On 15 March he was released on conditional condition, provided that he pay a deposit of $5,500. The condition was that he would stay in Malta. The trial was postponed again on March 27 to April 11. Last Thursday, he pleaded guilty to insulting a cop, and resisted during his arrest. He received a fine of $4,500 and a postponed sentence of 2 years in jail.
“I will never go to Malta again,” Titouan now claims. It became very expensive because his parents traveled up and down several times to follow the process. “I’m glad it’s over,” the student says.