After failing four days in a row to hitchhike out of South-Island town, a tourist lost his cool, throwing a road sign into a nearby river and verbally abusing locals.
Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre, a 27 year-old Frenchman, appeared in court today after causing $3,000 dollars worth of property damage. When the NZ Herald tried to have a word with Rault-Verpre, he called New Zealand "Nazi-Zealand." When asked how long he'd been in the country, he said "too long—way too long—and I've been to 80 countries."
According to locals, the man spent four days in the same spot in the small West Coast town of Punakaiki, where he claims no one bothered to offer him water. A Punakaiki Visitor Centre staff member believed Rault-Verpe was sleeping on the Punakaiki beach.
She saw him each morning standing on the side of the road without his thumb raised, leading her to question whether he knew what gesture was required procure a ride.
Later that day Rault-Verpe hurled a sign over the Punakaiki River Bridge in frustration. He also threw a few rocks around and yelled at townspeople.
The Herald began a map that calculated how far Rault-Verpe could have walked while waiting for a ride. He was only 1-2 days away from Greymouth.
Rault-Verpre pled guilty to charges, but is disputing the reparation sum suggested by sign owner Fulton Hogan, arguing the signs were already damaged.
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