Nice attacker previously beat man with spiked plank during traffic altercation: Police

The name Mohamed Lahoualej Bouhlel is seen on a plate outside the building where he lived in Nice, France.
The name Mohamed Lahoualej Bouhlel is seen on a plate outside the building where he lived in Nice, France. PHOTO: REUTERS

NICE (AFP) - The Nice truck attacker beat a driver with a nail-studded plank in January after the men got into a fight in traffic, according to a police report seen by AFP on Monday (July 18).

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who killed 84 people in the French Riviera city last week, got a six-month suspended sentence for the traffic altercation, which happened in broad daylight on Jan 25.

According to the report, the police who responded to a call of a fight on a busy street in central Nice found a man with a "gaping wound about 6cm deep at the top of the skull".

The victim was bleeding profusely and told officers that Bouhlel - who stayed on the scene after the attack to continue a delivery with his truck - was responsible.

Witnesses said the deliveryman had stopped in the middle of the street, blocking other drivers as he made the drop-off. The confrontation started when the driver of an Alfa Romeo asked Bouhlel to move his vehicle.

According to the report, Bouhlel attacked the driver with a "roughly 1m-long board, which was broken at one end, leaving two nails visible".

Bouhlel received his suspended sentence on March 24 for "armed assault".

The 31-year-old Tunisian on Thursday slammed a 19-tonne lorry into crowds of people, including many children, who had come to watch the Bastille Day fireworks on Nice's waterfront.

Bouhlel's killing spree was brought to an end when the police shot him to death inside the truck.