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Published July 01, 2011, 07:21 PM

VIDEO: Man Grabs French President Sarkozy, Nearly Knocks Him Down

A man in a crowd grabbed French President Nicolas Sarkozy by the shoulder and nearly knocked him to the ground before being tackled by security officers and detained.

By: ABC News,

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A man in a crowd grabbed French President Nicolas Sarkozy by the shoulder and nearly knocked him to the ground before being tackled by security officers and detained.

The unusually aggressive incident occurred as the president shook hands with a crowd in the town of Brax in southwest France.

The assailant was not armed, according to the national police service.

An official with the service said the 32-year-old Frenchman lives in the Lot-et-Garonne region and works in the theatre business.

The official was not authorised to be publicly named due to police policy.

The man was detained and being questioned in the nearby town of Agen.

Images broadcast on French television showed Sarkozy reaching over a metal barricade to greet onlookers when an arm grabs his suit roughly by the shoulder and pulls it towards the crowd.

Sarkozy started to lose his balance and fall, then immediately recoiled and righted himself. Security officers pulled the assailant to the ground.

Sarkozy is an outspoken and divisive figure whose poll ratings have been quite low for months.

He is expected to run for re-election next year, and his presidential visits to the French provinces in recent weeks have the air of campaign stops.

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