Italy shocked by video of the murder of a street vendor in the seaside town of Civitanova Marche. Police arrest an Italian man for the fatal beating which was filmed by onlookers without any apparent attempt to intervene physically.
The footage of the attack has circulated widely on Italian news websites and social media platforms. It has elicited outrage at a time when Italy enters a parliamentary election campaign. The right-wing coalition has already made immigration an issue.
“The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu is dismaying,’’ Enrico Letta, the head of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter, naming the vendor who died Friday. “Unheard of ferocity. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.”
Ogorchukwu, 39, was selling goods at midday on Friday on the main street of Civitanova Marche. His attacker grabbed a crutch the vendor used to walk and struck him down, according to police.
Video shows the assailant then wrestling the victim to the pavement. The victim fought back, but could not combat the weight of the attacker’s body. The attacker took the victim’s mobile before fleeing.
Police chief Matteo Luconi told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that onlookers called police. They responded after a suspect had fled and attempted to administer aid to the victim.
Police used street cameras to track the assailant’s movements and detained a man identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, 32. He is being held on suspicion of murder and theft, the latter for allegedly taking the victim’s phone when he fled.
Different ‘reasons’ for murder of street vendor
The senseless murder was due one of two reasons: “insistent” requests for change or telling the assailant’s companion she was beautiful. Either way, the attack was a case of mindless violence which resulted in a man’s death.
Luconi told Sky TG24 the assailant lashed out after the vendor made “insistent” requests for pocket change. Police questioned witnesses and took into evidence videos of the attack. They said the suspect made no statements.
Ogorchukwu, who was married with two children, resorted to selling goods on the street after he was struck by a car and lost his job as a labourer due to the injuries he suffered, said Daniel Amanza, who runs the ACSIM association for immigrants in the Marche region’s Macerata province.
The accident left him with a limp, and needing crutches, Amanza said.
Amanza gave a different version of what had preceded the assault, saying the aggressor became infuriated when Ogorchukwu told the man’s companion she was beautiful. “This compliment killed him,’’ Amanza told The Associated Press.
“The tragic fact is that there were many people nearby. They filmed, saying ‘Stop,’ but no one moved to separate them,’’ Amanza said.