Criminal collared at Vatican


Italian police, Sunday, opened fire at a car after it ploughed through a Vatican checkpoint.

Reports say a BMW driver, identified as Erojol Nako, a 39-year Albanian male, initially drew attention to himself when asked to stop in the Pantheon, a pedestrian area.

Fleeing at high speed through the streets of Rome Nako broke a total of three checkpoints barriers until he reached Via de la Conciliazione, which leads to Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

Approaching the Square Nako veered left around the columns flanking St Peters and into Piazza del Sant’Uffizio, where Swiss guards, fearing a terrorist attack, shut the gates leading into the Vatican.

After driving through what The Times describes as “a hail of police gunfire at the Vatican” the police eventually shot out two of the vehicle’s tyres.

With his tyres shot out, Nako remained undeterred and escaped into nearby streets.

He was eventually chased down by police and Carabinieri who reportedly used a stun gun to collar him.

Police confirmed that Nako was known to them, that he has a criminal record and during the escapade was reportedly under the influence of drugs.

During the chase, and in an attempt not to be notified, Nako threw his wallet and watch out of the car window.

In a note of irony, Nako is said to believe he is the Archangel Michael. Michael the Archangel is the protector of police officers.

Niko has already appeared in court but has been transferred to hospital.

Media also report two police officers were injured as the driver attempted to ram them with the vehicle. They have been treated and discharged.

What prompted Nako to rush to the Vatican remains somewhat of a mystery.

Police and the Carabinieri found no weapons or offensive objects in his car and looking at his social media there is no hint he was intending to perform a reckless act.

Italian newspaper Corrie reports the driver’s actions sowed panic in and around via della Concilliazione and the surrounds of the colonnade of St Peter’s Square.

At the time of what was thought a possible terror event, St Peter’s Square was reportedly packed full of faithful and tourists waiting for Pope Francis to deliver his Sunday Angelus message.

While police do not suspect terrorism, there is an open investigation to clarify if there was a terrorist motive.

According to Il Messaggero, Nako’s former partner is upset.

“For five years I have been fighting for his dangerousness and mental imbalance to be recognised and the court to take away the custody of our two children – she explains – but no one listened to me”.


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