A friendly gesture from a happy tourist ended up getting him imprisoned. A 51-year-old British father of four, Tony Camoccio, was arrested at the Hurghada Airport in Egypt. After the routine security pat-down, Tony had patted the guard on his back as an act of appreciation. Immediately, Tony was taken aside and arrested. Days after the arrest, it was discovered that he had been charged with sexual assault. Media attention and mass support helped Tony gain his freedom from prison. On Sunday, his family was reunited with Tony at Gatwick Airport.
Tony, his wife Joan Camoccio, and son Remo Camoccio had gone to Egypt with a few other family friends. The plan was to spend a relaxing holiday at a resort facing the Red Sea. Instead of a dream holiday, the family from Sutton, Surrey faced a week of uncertainty and anguish.
The friendly Brit's gesture was taken as an act of aggression, sparking his arrest. His family was kept in the dark about why he was arrested. Tony remained at Police Station One Hurghada jail for five days. Eventually, his family was informed that Tony had been charged for sexually assaulting the airport security guard.
Tony was supposed to be released from the cramped prison after five days. The police tried to extend the arrest by claiming that they needed 15 more days to investigate the incident.
Once the media covered the incident of Tony's arrest, people in the United Kingdom showed their support. A protest was held outside the Egyptian embassy in London. More than 5,000 people signed a petition asking both the UK and Egyptian governments to help Tony return to the UK.
The initiative and media attention paid off as a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence against Tony. Since his arrest on Saturday, February 8, Tony had been living in constant fear, which finally ended.
Returning to Gatwick Airport on Sunday, Tony thanked the Daily Mail and all the people who supported his release. He also shared that he had a sore throat and was very tired. Many members of Tony's family greeted him at the airport before the weary man finally went home.