Man With Links to Mafia Arrested for Vicious On-camera Attack on Reporter

November 11, 2017 Updated: November 12, 2017

Police in Italy arrested a man on Thursday, Nov. 9, for a vicious attack on a television journalist that was caught on camera, reports the BBC.

Roberto Spada was being interviewed when he delivered a savage head-butt to Rai TV journalist, crushing the reporter’s nose. Spada then pulled out a blackjack and swung it at the reporter and television crew, according to the BBC report.



Spada now faces charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and possible links to organized crime, reports local media ANSA.

The assault took place at a Spada family gym in the coastal town of Ostia, near Rome, prompting journalists to rally in solidarity in front of the establishment on Nov. 10.


A man holds a placard reading ‘No press embargo’ as he takes part in a rally of Italian journalists on Nov. 10 in Ostia, in front of a gym owned by Roberto Spada, who was filmed headbutting reporter Daniele Piervincenzi before attacking him with a baton. Piervincenzi had been investigating Spada’s alleged links to the far-right CasaPound movement and his nose was fractured in the attack. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rome’s mayor was quick to condemn the attack.

Mayor Virginia Raggi tweeted a video of it with the caption: “The Spada clan’s violence is unacceptable. Solidarity with the journalist and filmmaker of @NemoRai2 attacked in Ostia. We will stop crime and extremism in Rome.”

The act of aggression occurred while journalist Daniele Piervincenzi was interviewing Spada about his family’s alleged links to CasaPound, a political movement considered extreme to the right.

CasaPound won an unexpected 9 percent of the vote in a Sunday municipal election in Ostia.

The vice president of CasaPound, Simone Di Stefano, invited a public investigation into the movement, “to see if there are criminal ties between us and the Spadas,” reports ANSA.

“We are requesting swift and public probes, and that the results should be spread to the public.”

CasaPound Vice President Simone Di Stefano (C) speaks at a press conference at CasaPound’s headquarters in Rome on Nov. 9, 2017. Reporter Daniele Piervincenzi was asking the brother of a famous mafia boss about his ties to the CasaPound movement when he was attacked on camera in Ostia. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators are weighing whether Spada’s attack occurred in a “mafia context,” reports ANSA.

On Oct. 4, seven members of the Spada family were sentenced to a total of 50 years in jail for racketeering in Ostia.

Charges encompass making threats and committing numerous acts of violence, including a mafia-style kneecapping to assert clan supremacy.

Spada’s brother is now serving 10 years in jail for extortion and mafia links.