Rome gangster in Hollywood-style chase

In scenes more akin to a Hollywood film, a 65-year old crime gang member was chased by police on the streets of Rome on Wednesday morning.

Rome gangster in Hollywood-style chase
Police chased gangster Franco Arditi through the streets of Rome. Photo: Wikicommons

Franco Arditi, thought to be a member of the Banda della Magliana crime ring, tried to avoid being caught by stealing a moped and speeding through the city’s outskirts, the website reported.

The chase began at dawn in the Tor Bella Monaca district, with police at one point encircling the moped and blocking the road.

Arditi and a 34-year-old accomplice managed to weave their way through the cars before jumping off the bike, which then swerved into a police car, and carrying on by foot, the website reported.

They were eventually cornered and arrested, the website said.

Banda della Magliana was particularly influential in Rome in the 1970s and 1980s.

The gang’s first criminal act was the kidnapping of duke Massimiliano Grazioli Lante della Rovere in 1977 for a ransom. The duke was murdered, despite the ransom being paid. The group then used the earnings to expand their criminal hold over the capital. 

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Runner dies in Italy-to-France ultra marathon

A runner taking part in an ultra-marathon in the Alps has died during the race after a fatal fall on a high-altitude mountain path, emergency services told AFP on Wednesday.

Runner dies in Italy-to-France ultra marathon
The race traverses Mont Blanc. Illustration photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP

The 35-year-old from the Czech Republic was taking part in a warm-up event ahead of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a famed endurance event that takes place every year around western Europe’s highest peak.

The man fell during the night after setting off with more than 1,000 other runners from the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur on Tuesday afternoon along the 145-kilometre course of the TDS race to Chamonix in France.

Emergency services were alerted after midnight on Wednesday and flew in a helicopter to the scene of the accident in the Bourg-Saint-Maurice district, but they were unable to revive him, local police commander Patrice Ribes told AFP.

Organisers of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, which takes places on Friday, said it was the first death in one of their events since their start in 2003.

Elsewhere in the French Alps on Wednesday, a 60-year-old climber died in the Isère region after suffering a fall of 30 metres.