Battle for Rome's beachfront turns bloody with assault on journalist

Elias Hubbard
November 11, 2017

A journalist and director from the Italian broadcaster Rai were attacked by the brother of a mafia boss while reporting on the outcome of local elections in Ostia, a coastal city close to Rome, on Tuesday. Piervincenzi staggered back clutching his face as blood streamed from his nose, before Mr Spada - a boxer - chased him and his cameraman down...

"A broken nose can't stop us", said Daniele Pervincenzi, who was headbutted by Spada when he asked about possible links between the two.

The Spada clan is notoriously violent.

Spada was detained by police on Thursday and a judge is due to decide on Friday whether to formally arrest him. Seven members of the family were sentenced to a combined 56 years in jail in October, and Robert's brother Carmine was ordered to serve 10 years behind bars last year for extortion and mafia association.

Spada, who has faced corruption and drug smuggling charges, accused the crew of repeatedly ignoring his request to refrain from responding before "forcing their way into a members-only club, interrupting a session and frightening my son".

On Thursday, investigators said they were weighing out whether Spada's attack occurred within a "mafia context" and the probe was assigned to anti-mafia prosecutors, said judicial sources.

"Everyone's patience has limits", Spada later said about the incident, apologizing for the act.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni offered Piervincenzi his "solidarity for the brutal aggression suffered in Ostia", and national police chief Franco Gabrieli said the incident showed the area "still needs substantial work".

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said the violence was unacceptable and pledged a crackdown on crime.

"I'm exhausted of the name of my neighbourhood, Ostia, being associated with the mafia, because it's not true, there are lots of honest people who live there", the party's municipal councillor Luca Marsella said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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