Rome traffic warden attacked by pickpockets

Four teenage pickpockets attacked a traffic warden at an underground station by the Spanish Steps in Rome after they were asked to stop smoking.

Rome traffic warden attacked by pickpockets
The attack happened at the metro station close to the Spanish Steps in Rome. Photo: Weldon Kennedy/Flickr

Claudia Macri was insulted and spat at by the four girls and then kicked and punched after she followed them in the busy underground station, Rome's city council said in a statement.

A passer-by intervened and held two of the attackers, while another was caught by the warden and the fourth escaped.

Macri told Il Messaggero newspaper that she also suspected the teenagers of robbing passengers. 

“I tried to warn the passengers, I shouted in English ‘watch out for pickpockets!’” she said.

The girls were later captured after they were indentified by a group of tourists for allegedly stealing €500 in cash, four credit cards and a camera. A court has ordered for them to be sent to a youth rehabilitation centre. 

Macri said she often faces abuse at work. “This is not the first time. They usually spit at me, which I can’t stand."

Ignazio Marino, Rome's mayor, praised Macri for her commitment, courage and determination, and described the attack as "unacceptable", Il Messaggero said.

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.