Saturday, February 08, 2014

Lucca's Cop Caper
There is this character in Lucca who everybody knows. His name is Mario and he goes around the town entering in most of the shops and restaurants all day long greeting everyone. Sometimes he also throws in a song. A few months ago after my friend Elena and I took a stroll around the city walls together, he came up and squeezed are biceps and complimented us on our physiques before begging me for a kiss. I declined, but if I had known what he was going through, I might have given him a little one. There was definitely a period during which he became more insistent with his panhandling activities.

Mario has a very sweet face, but when we first moved here, I remember that T and I used to give him a wide berth. We were a little afraid of him. Then we figured out that he was completely harmless and a town favorite that everyone chuckled over. It's always bitter sweet to see him because it was unclear how he lives because he obviously has some cognitive difficulties. Then this whole scandalous story broke in which he plays the leading role. Apparently an elderly couple has been extorting his pension from him and draining his bank account. The reports say that the couple alternately threatened him with bodily harm and promised him that he could marry the female of the couple and have a week's holiday in Lugano, Switzerland, which is his lifelong dream. Lord knows why. But maybe old people in Lugano dream of coming to Lucca. Anyway, the police convinced Mario to become part of the sting operation and the whole arrest was caught on video. Now the story goes that the whole account will be broadcast on Berlusconi's television station and it will finish with the reporter taking Mario to a hotel in Lugano free of cost due to the generosity of the hotel owner. The couple could not look more villianous if they tried in the video. Accidenti! Take a look!

http://www.luccaindiretta.it/primo-piano/item/22178-nuovo-blitz-delle-iene-a-lucca-mario-son-sodo-e-partito-per-lugano-video.html

http://www.luccaindiretta.it/dalla-citta/item/21746-le-estorsioni-a-mario-son-sodo-finiscono-anche-sulle-iene-l-arresto-in-diretta-e-l-ex-falegname-si-dispera-mi-minacciava-avevo-paura-che-mi-picchiassero.html

This video starts off with Mario packing his things for Switzerland, then takes you to the arrest footage and back to his place before he packs up for the vacation of his lifetime.

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