'Black Count' in Rome ninja star attack

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Rome's Trastevere neighbourhood (L) and a 'ninja star' weapon. Photos: Stefano Costantini/Flickr (L) and Kaliostro/Wikimedia Commons
11:15 CET+01:00
An Italian - nicknamed the 'Black Count' due to his violent past - attacked a pensioner in Rome on Sunday night with a ninja star, a multi-pronged Japanese weapon.

Ranieri Adami Piccolomini slashed a 75-year-old pensioner in the throat in Piazza De Renzi, in Rome's central Trastevere neighbourhood, before punching a 52-year-old man, Corriere della Sera reported.

Piccolomini, named as a descendant of the 15th-century Pope Pius II, was arrested after the reportedly unmotivated attack.

The pensioner was taken to hospital with a wound just millimetres away from his jugular vein, a major vein which carries blood from the head.

Piccolomini has in recent years been implicated in a number of violent crimes, earning himself the ‘Black Count’ nickname in the press. He was tried and then acquitted for the 1996 murder of 23-year-old Paolo Segatori, who was stabbed 20 times, Italian media reported.

In April 2012, he was arrested for attacking a Bangladeshi man and breaking his nose, days after he was reported for attacking another three Bangladeshis, Roma Today reported.

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Piccolomini was put under house arrest in 2011 for domestic violence and earlier this year was hospitalized after a fight in Trastevere, the news website said.

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