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Father disarms gunman at Naples school

A father in Naples has been praised for his heroism after he disarmed a man who pulled out a gun at a school in Naples on Monday.

Father disarms gunman at Naples school
The man pointed a gun at the father of one of the children at the school, who disarmed him. Police car photo: Shutterstock

A 64-year-old man was arrested on Monday morning after he pulled out a gun at the Ada Negri school in Naples, La Repubblica reported.

The man, who is from Casal di Principe in the southern province of Caserta, was spotted at the school last Friday where he was accosted by a member of staff and told to leave. However, he was not reported to police.

According to reports, the man reentered the school on Monday morning as parents were dropping off their children.

Suspicious parents surrounded the man and he was stopped from escaping by Giuseppe Russo, the father of a child at the school.

The man then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Russo’s stomach, before the father managed to disarm him.

“I acted like a father,” Russo was quoted as saying. “I didn’t think about him pointing a pistol at my stomach and saying he wanted to kill me. I thought only of my son.

“My wife called me. As soon as I got there, I saw that [the parents] were blocking him until the police arrived. He took out a pistol that he had behind his back and pointed it at my stomach. I ripped it from his hands and disarmed him.”

No one was injured.

The man was arrested and taken in for police questioning, during which he said that he had been looking for a teacher at the school called Giovanna.

However, no teacher at the school with that name claimed to know him. 

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MAFIA

Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

In its latest mafia sting, Italian police took down a large 'Ndrangheta ring in southern Calabria, placing 56 people under investigation including a regional councillor and a former head of the regional tourism board.

Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

The early-morning blitz by over 300 police focused on areas of Calabria – Italy’s poorest region – under the control of the Mancuso clan, a powerful branch of the infamous ‘Ndrangheta, many of whose top operatives are among hundreds of defendants in an ongoing ‘maxi-trial’.

Fifty-six people, many already in prison, were put under criminal investigation for a series of crimes including mafia-related conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, bribery and possession of weapons, police and prosecutors said.

READ ALSO: ‘Ndrangheta: It’s time to bust some myths about the Calabrian mafia

Besides alleged mafia members, the operation also snared businessmen, a regional councillor released from prison days earlier, a former head of the regional tourism board and two civil servants, police said.

The incarcerated boss of the clan, Luigi Mancuso, also known as “The Supreme”, is the biggest mafioso in the massive mafia trial that started in January 2021.

Still, police said, his clan and affiliates, including the La Rosa and Accortini families, have continued to dominate illegal activities in the Vibo Valentia province, which is located right on the toe of Italy’s boot and is widely known as the ‘Coast of the Gods’ due to its stunning coastal views.

One mafia scheme involved the infiltration of a foreign tour operator in Pizzo Calabro, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.

No one talks

In Calabria, the extent of the ‘Ndrangheta’s reach in the local economy has made it near impossible to eradicate it.

By controlling the bulk of cocaine flowing into Europe, the ‘Ndrangheta has surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra in power and wealth. It has extended far beyond its rural roots and now operates internationally, with illegal gains reinvested in the legitimate economy.

In the area around Vibo Valentia, extortion of local businesses and the fixing of public tenders is also common.

The allegations against those arrested Thursday include the transport and sale of stolen farm machinery to Malta and Romania, police said.

The sting carried out on Thursday extended to other parts of Calabria, Palermo in Sicily and as far as Rome and Milan, police said.

READ ALSO: Meet Nicola Gratteri, the prosecutor leading Italy’s battle against the mafia

In a press conference, anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, whose efforts to defeat the ‘Ndrangheta have forced him to live under police escort for over 30 years, called the group a “fierce mafia syndicate” controlling areas around the tourist resort of Tropea.

Francesco Messina, who leads Italy’s organised crime investigative unit (DAC), cited the economic power of the clan, which relies locally on “substantial” extortion activity.

The “total absence” of complaints to authorities was striking, Messina said, underscoring the ‘Ndrangheta’s power to intimidate.

By Alexandria Sage

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