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TAXI

Cabbie charges obese passenger for flat tyre

An obese man has lodged a complaint after a taxi driver in Rome charged him extra, blaming a flat tyre on his excess weight.

Cabbie charges obese passenger for flat tyre
This is not the taxi in the story. Photo: Patrik Tschudin/Flickr

The customer, who is from Lecco, northern Italy, took the cab from Rome’s central Termini station to a clinic in the outskirts of the city for a routine medical check-up.

During the journey one of the back tyres became flat, and the cab driver had to change it.

According to the passenger, the driver then returned to the vehicle in a temper.  

“When he came back into the car I could hear him muttering to himself. I didn’t understand what he was saying,” the client, identified only as M.O., told Rome daily Il Messaggero.

“I thought was just annoyed about the incident. I never would have imagined what was going to happen.”

To the shock of the passenger, the taxi driver proceeded to blame him for the mishap and even charged him an extra €50 on top of the €30 fare for the tyre.

The man paid but told Il Messaggero: “I felt humiliated. It wasn’t fair. This is also a kind of discrimination. It was obvious that he was mocking me because I am obese.”

Once he had returned to his native city of Lecco, the client, who weighs 150 kilos, went to an association for obese people where he lodged a formal complaint against the taxi driver. 

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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