Italian authorities are searching for six residents from the Roma district of Quarticciolo after viral footage published on social media showed a spontaneous group of vigilantes beat an Indian migrant suspected of mugging an elderly lady on Thursday.
In the video, filmed by a fellow resident, a group of around six individuals can be seen detaining a 26-year-old Indian national on a run-down street in the Italian capital, before proceeding to punch and kick the man as he lay defenseless on the road.
At one point, one of the vigilante attackers can be seen picking up a motorcycle helmet and using it as a weapon to strike the suspected mugger on the head.
“He mugged an old lady,” claims the woman filming from her balcony, as cited by Italian news outlet Virgilio Notizie, while one of the attackers shouts, “You piece of shit, I’ll kill you.”
Multiple bystanders watch on as the assault lasts for around two minutes before the man manages to flee the scene.
According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the migrant was subsequently arrested by Roma authorities on suspicion of robbery. He is accused of dragging a 90-year-old woman to the ground and mugging her on via Manfredonia moments before the attack.
The suspect was taken to the Tor Vergata hospital for treatment. He suffered a fractured nose among other injuries and is expected to heal within 30 days.
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Local police, however, are also understood to be trailing the vigilante attackers responsible for the attack on the suspect.
The Quarticciolo has long been a center of criminal activity, much of which has been fuelled by an increase in drug dealing in the area. However, the migrant is understood to have broken an unwritten rule of the neighborhood not to lay hands on the elderly, sparking the vigilante revenge.
The attack has faced divided opinion on social media, but the “Welcome to favelas” group, which highlights ongoing degradation across Italy, showed that 87 percent of respondents in a survey supported the vigilante group, according to Italian newspaper Il Giornale.