The wife of a Hillsborough survivor was ‘pulled and handcuffed’ in the Champions League as children cried

Natalie spent the night and the following morning in custody in a Paris cell with a “dirty” toilet while detectives say she punched a police office in the face, which she denies

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Champions League final: use of tear gas after the game

A Liverpool mother says she was brutally arrested by French police in Paris in front of her terrified children.

Crosby High School teacher Natalie, 33 – who asked to be called by her first name only – had spent the day with her children aged 16 months, six and eight, and her adult stepdaughter, 25, at Liverpool FC fan park , while husband Gareth attended the Champions League final.

But their family trip turned into a traumatic time when an aggressive police officer began shoving the 5ft tall Natalie before dragging her to the ground and handcuffing her. This is reported by the Liverpool Echo.

She spent the night and the following morning in custody in a cell with a “dirty” toilet while detectives said she punched a police office in the face.

She denied the allegation, saying it was “nonsense”.

Natalie, from Crosby, was brutalized by French police in Paris after the Champions League final



After urging her to look at CCTV of the incident, Natalie was told she was free to leave and would not be charged.

Gareth and Natalie had planned to meet up after the game and return to their accommodation on the outskirts of town. But those plans were scrapped due to the chaos outside the Stade de France.

Gareth, a Hillsborough survivor who testified in the Warrington investigation, had his phone stolen by local criminals outside the stadium and lost contact with his family.

Natalie and Gareth had worked out a back-up plan in case of phone problems prior to his departure and decided that if they couldn’t reach each other they would meet at the Nation metro station near the fan park.

Natalie said: “I thought we were going to take our kids on an amazing experience that they would never forget, win or lose, for good reason. We have traveled a lot. We have lived in Spain, we think we know how to organize and take care of ourselves. But Saturday night in Paris was different.”

Natalie from Crosby was brutalized by French police in Paris



Gareth said: “Saturday night until the escape from Saint Denis [the area around the stadium] was bad enough. My phone was stolen, I was shot at twice with tear gas, two of our group didn’t even go to the game.

“Then I found out that Nat had been attacked and arrested by the police in front of our children, in the midst of their own Parisian chaos near the fan park. We’re devastated, but we won’t leave it here. I’m not naive, I’ve been to Heysel and Hillsborough. We will not take any of this lying down.”

As chaos reigned in Paris, Natalie said authorities blocked access to the Nation metro station, leaving her without a chance to meet her husband.

She said: “I asked for directions to our accommodation after they unexpectedly closed the subway. They claimed not to know the name of the next station, they couldn’t have helped less…

“People were stabbed off the ground and I was there with three young children, if someone comes and tries to take stuff from us, what are we going to do? It sounds silly, but you expect the police to help you in some way; They don’t expect them to say, ‘That’s not our problem’.”

Natalie says she was angry and stressed out by the situation, but insists she did nothing to justify what happened next.

She said: “I didn’t know what to do next. We had tried to get an Uber but it didn’t work.

Natalie was injured after the incident


Liverpool ECHO)

“One officer said ‘You can take a taxi’ and pointed to an area where other people were getting into one. So I said ‘ok’ and tried to hail a cab. The same cop then told me to ‘move’. I said, ‘You just told me to go over here?’ but he called “move” and caught me.

“I said ‘What are you doing’ and instinctively tried to push him away. That was it, at that point he threw me to the ground and his arm was on my back and his hand on the back of my head. The kids are screaming, the baby is crying, he is 16 months old and has no idea what’s going on. I can’t believe what’s happening.”

Natalie said she was handcuffed and pulled to her feet.

After initially refusing to let her speak to her adult stepdaughter, they said officers allowed her to hand over the key to their accommodation before putting her in the back of a van and taking her to a police station.

She said: “I begged them please, my children have been left behind in Paris and I still don’t know if they are safe. I don’t know if my husband is safe.”

The next morning, Natalie was taken to an interrogation room and asked to give evidence through an interpreter.

She said: “The first thing she said was ‘the kids are safe and Gareth is out’. At that point I relaxed a bit.”

She explained what had happened and was told the officers’ statement differed from hers in two ways: They claimed she ran up to an officer and “slapped him in the face” before “throwing to the ground.” .

She said, “I told them, ‘why should I do that?’ I wouldn’t do that in front of my kids. I’m not saying I was calm, I’m not saying I wasn’t stressed, but all I asked for was help.”

The interview ended when an officer suggested “there will be CCTV,” which Natalie says she thought was “great.”

At 3:30 pm that afternoon, she was released after being pressured into signing some papers that were not translated for her.

She said, “I was told the judge didn’t want to charge me because I was a mother with kids.”

Natalie says she was not seriously injured in the arrest but sustained bruises where officers’ fingers dug into her arms, legs and back.

She said: “I was pushed onto the sidewalk and yelled at. I instinctively tried to free myself from his grip and was then thrown to the ground, handcuffed and arrested.

“It was all before my now crying little kids. I feel hurt, insecure and very angry that my children had to witness this.”

The Paris police have been asked for comment.

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