Father perches on crane to regain access to son

Vows to stay until legal order is reversed

A father denied access to his son was perched atop a giant shipyard crane in the western French city of Nantes for a third day on Sunday, vowing to stay put until a legal order was reversed.

Serge Charnay mounted the yellow crane on Friday morning amid morning fog to highlight his case, unfurling a large banner that read: "Benoit, two years without a dad."

Charnay has struggled to win back the right to see his son, whose age has not been disclosed, after losing custody and all visiting rights when he was accused of kidnapping the boy.

"I will stay here until I gain something significant," Charnay said in a message. He has been sending text messages from his mobile phone.

He is seeking a reversal of the judicial order that he says "has destroyed my family and our lives."

The 42-year-old has been informed that his case will be reviewed on March 28. He has read the order but refused to come down.

"It's status quo," a police officer said. "There is nothing new. He is still on the crane."

Authorities were desperately trying Sunday to re-establish contact with Charnay, whose cellphone battery may have died, said Christian Galliard de Lavernee, the prefect of the area.

Charnay has invited the media for an "event" on Sunday afternoon, saying he will not climb down.

"I don't want that fathers have to go on a hunger strike to reclaim the right to see their children," he said in a statement, adding that he had not eaten or drunk anything since Saturday morning.

Charnay's friend Nicolas Moreno, also in a legal battle for the right to see his own two sons Evan and Lucas, climbed a nearby crane on Saturday but came down after a few hours.

 

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