Disabled Nigerian street vendor, 39-year-old Alika Ogorchukwu, was reportedly beaten to death by 32-year-old Italian Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo on Friday in the seaside town of Civitanova Marche because he called Ferlazzo’s girlfriend “beautiful”.
Reports state that Ogorchukwu, who was forced to use a crutch after a 2021 accident, approached Ferlazzo and his girlfriend to sell trinkets and ask for change. After Ferlazzo refused, Ogorchukwu walked away but was followed and knocked down by Ferlazzo.
According to a statement given to The Associated Press by Daniel Amanza, who runs the ACSIM association for immigrants in the Marche region’s Macerata province, Ferlazzo was enraged because Ogorchukwu had called his girlfriend beautiful.
Ferlazzo was later arrested and charged with homicide as well as robbery because he took Ogorchukwu’s cell phone after the murder. According to Ferlazzo’s attorney, he suffers from “overt psychiatric disorders, a recognized borderline diagnosis.”
It is reported that investigators do not believe that the murder was racially motivated, but the assault, which was videotaped by bystanders and released on social media, has sparked outrage in the Italian town and reignited debate about racism across Italy.
Watch the eye-witness footage below.