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CRIME

Rules of Italy’s roads: driver fined over €3k for pee break

A 40-year-old man was slapped with a hefty fine on Monday when he stopped to urinate at the side of a main road in northern Italy.

Rules of Italy's roads: driver fined over €3k for pee break
A 40-year-old man has been fined for weeing at the side of the S42 main road, pictured above. Photo: Wikimedia

The man was on his way back from spending Easter Monday with friends when he stopped to empty his bladder.

He pulled over to the side of the S42 – a road which passes between the northern cities of Bolzano and Bergamo – just outside the town of Berzo Demo, in the Lombardy province of Brescia.

Unfortunately, a passing police car saw him and issued him with a huge fine for 'acts against public decency'.

Such charges used to carry possible jail sentences in Italy, but earlier this year the government passed changes to legislation which re-classified a number of misdemeanours.

“This type of act was recently decriminalized, which on the one hand means you can't be imprisoned for it, but on the other hand the fines have gone up,” a police spokesperson told La Repubblica.

This is not the only time urinating in public has cost somebody dear in Italy.

Earlier this year, school teacher Stefano Rho was sacked after the school discovered he had a criminal record for peeing in a bush 11 years ago.

After a public campaign, Rho was reinstated.

But it remains to be seen whether the motorist's fine will be reduced or overturned.
 

ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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