The attacker who beat a Nigerian street vendor to death in broad daylight in Italy “was enraged after the victim said his girlfriend was beautiful”.
Nigerian street vendor Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was beaten to death by an Italian man identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo on Friday in the busy city center of Civitanova Marche, a coastal town on the Adriatic Sea.
Ferlazzo became furious when Mr Ogorchukwu told the man’s “girlfriend” she was beautiful, claimed Daniel Amanza, who heads the ACSIM association for immigrants in the province of Macerata in the Marche region.
“That compliment killed him,” Mr Amanza told The Associated Press.
“The tragic fact is there were a lot of people around. They filmed and said stop, but no one moved to separate them,” Mr Amanza said.
The father-of-two’s brutal death was filmed by viewers who made no attempt to physically intervene – sparking outrage online.
Yesterday in Italy police arrested 32-year-old Ferlazzo for the murder of Mr Ogorchukwu and allegedly stealing the victim’s mobile phone, according to local agency ANSA.
Police used street cameras to track Ferlazzo’s movements and arrested him on Saturday. Local media have reported that Ferlazzo is currently being held in Montacuto prison in Ancona. It is claimed he will not be charged with racism.
“The situation is quite clear, everything seems to have arisen from a quarrel for frivolous reasons, not racism,” said Matteo Luconi, one of the investigators.
Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, (pictured) was beaten to death by an Italian man identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo in the busy city center of Civitanova Marche on Friday
Police in Italy have arrested a 32-year-old man after the murder of a Nigerian street vendor, whose brutal killing was filmed by bystanders who made no attempt to physically intervene
The footage shows Ferlazzo wrestling the victim onto his back on the sidewalk while he fought back and climbed onto Alika to pin him to the ground
Alika was selling goods when his attacker grabbed the seller’s crutch and struck him with a series of punches, according to police
Shocking video footage of the attack has circulated widely on social media and has sparked outrage as Italy enters a general election campaign in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration an issue.
Mr Ogorchukwu was selling goods when his attacker grabbed the seller’s crutch and struck him with a series of punches, according to police.
Footage shows Ferlazzo wrestling the victim onto his back on the pavement while he fought back and climbed onto Mr Ogorchukwu to pin him to the ground.
Mr Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, said at a protest at the scene on Saturday: “Now all I want is justice for my husband”.
Enrico Letta, leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter: “The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu leaves us dismayed. The unprecedented wildness. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.’
Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who makes safety part of his campaign, also expressed outrage at the death, saying “safety has no color and must be a right again”.
“The attacker went after the victim and first hit him with a crutch. He dropped him to the ground, then finished the death, repeatedly striking with his bare hands,” police investigator Matteo Luconi said at a news conference.
He later told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that bystanders called the police, who responded after the suspect fled and tried to render assistance to the victim. An autopsy will determine whether death was caused by beatings, asphyxiation, or some other cause.
Mr Luconi said the attacker lashed out after the seller asked “insistently” for pocket money. Police interviewed witnesses and viewed videos of the attack. They said the suspect did not give a statement.
Mr Ogorchukwu, who was married with two children aged 8 and 10, was selling goods on the street after he was hit by a car and lost his job as a laborer due to his injuries, said ACSIM Association’s Mr Amanza for immigrants.
Alika, who was married with two children, struggled in the shocking footage
Enrico Letta, leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter: “The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu leaves us dismayed. The unprecedented wildness. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification’
Macerata was the scene of a 2018 killing spree against African immigrants that injured six people. Luca Traini, 31, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the shooting, which Italy’s highest court ruled a hate crime.
Civitanova Marche Mayor Fabrizio Ciarapica met with members of the Nigerian community after hundreds demonstrated at the scene on Saturday.
“My conviction is not only for the (crime) but also for indifference,” Ciarapica told Sky. “This is something that has shocked the citizens.”
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who heads his own small party, urged political leaders to “instrumentalize” the attack.
“I am appalled by this electoral climate,” he said on social media. “A father was killed in a cruel and racist manner while bystanders were making video without stopping the attacker. And instead of thinking about what we will become, politicians argue and exploit.”