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Shots in rapid succession immediately sow the panic among passers-by and the many tourists, who were already queuing to enter the Cathedral and the museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro. Someone immediately thinks of a Camorra ambush, seeks refuge lying on the ground or jumping into a cafeteria: nobody imagines what is really happening, and that these shots are made from a municipal police who tries to defend himself from the brutal aggression of a clochards. Just before nine o’clock yesterday morning the Via Duomo turns into a hell of lead and blood.
Everything happens suddenly. The policeman – on duty in the unit for the protection of social and minor emergencies, and in civilian clothes – works to support a team of green operators called to clean up the spaces under the arcades next to the cathedral occupied by homeless people at night: he approaches a non-EU citizen of African origin inviting him to free his bed, but the reaction is sudden and furious: the foreigner pulls a stake from the blankets and starts beating the lieutenant Salvatore Ruoppolo, 63 years old. The petty officer begins to bleed and barely has time to draw his pistol. “I defended myself, that man would have massacred me”, he will tell immediately after hospitalization the head of his command and the mayor of Naples himself, Manfredi, who will go to see him with the commissioner. by Iesu and the commander of the Municipality husband at the Hospital del Mar.
Seven shots, the first into the air and one directed at the attacker’s lower extremities. In the hectic phases of the skirmish one of the bullets would also have ricocheted off the vaults of the portico. For the policeman it is salvation: in the explosion of anger, the foreigner would have continued to hit him, with probably even tragic consequences. Moments of total panic. Next to the atrium of the cathedral there is blood everywhere, and only when the clochard is neutralized is someone with courage found to assist the wounded non-commissioned officer.
This is how one’s anger is unleashed angry mob, who tries to lynch the assailant. The arrival of the police cars and some members of the Army present in the area prevented the worst: and when the agents of the General Directorate of Prevention of the Police Headquarters manage to handcuff the non-EU citizen from the street, applause for the police forces. It is almost a moment of liberation for those who have witnessed the violence. Some merchants who have just arrived and are about to raise the shutters of the shops also applaud: there is anger among them, they all complain about the situation of profound material degradation derived from the night stay of the homeless, who in the morning leave those places in unseemly situations also due to discouragement and needs. It goes without saying that all this is located a few meters from the doors of the Duomo and one of the most popular museums for tourists and foreigners. There is also an indiscretion circulating: just a few hours earlier, at night the same non-EU citizen brandished a knife to injure another homeless man.
But back to the violent assault. Immediately after the shots were fired, two ambulances arrived at the scene: the first transported Salvatore Ruoppolo to the hospital.sea hospitals, the foreigner was loaded in the second – escorted by the policemen. The latter was diagnosed with a non-life-threatening injury with an entry blow to the left thigh. The lieutenant’s condition was also serious, but fortunately not serious, but he suffered lacerating and contusion injuries to his head, fractures to his extremities (one of them, displaced, to his right arm), and swelling to his face and one eye. . He today he will undergo surgery to repair the compound fracture in his arm.
Immediately after the raid, forensics also went into action in via Duomo, for ballistic studies. The agent acted self defense: Mayor Manfredi, who went to see him at the hospital, is convinced of this. “The bum kept attacking and defending himself. We must protect our men from the police and municipal forces who have been attacked more than once in the exercise of their duties.
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