PARIS: Newly reelected French President Emmanuel Macron narrowly avoided being pelted by what looked like a small sackful of cherry tomatoes on Wednesday as he waded through a boisterous and packed crowd in a market northwest of Paris.
About six of the small fruits, some orange, some red, contained in what looked like a blue plastic bag, flew over the head of the French leader and bounced off the shoulder and arm of two men beside him, according to broadcaster BFM-TV’s video.
Macron himself seemed oblivious of the near-miss until someone in the crowd shouted "projectile’’ and bodyguards raised arms over the French leader’s head to cover him.
Someone then unfurled a black umbrella to shield him, and his security detail steered him to cover under a nearby market-stall parasol. The president sheltered there for a few moments until things calmed down.
Another snippet of video, shot from a different angle, showed that just after the tomatoes were thrown, a bystander clambered onto a table or something else and from that height hurled himself backward in the direction of the gaggle of people around Macron.
The man appeared to throw a wayward punch as he flew through the air. There were screams as he landed hard on the crowd and fell to the floor.
Macron, ostensibly unharmed and unperturbed, then happily continued his walkabout in Cergy-Pontoise, mingling and talking to people at the market. He told reporters he visited the working-class neighborhood as part of his previously stated pledge to unite France after the bruising presidential campaign.
The 44-year-old centrist comfortably beat far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the election runoff on Sunday.