Man killed on river bank in central Rome

Suspect in murder was cleared of killing American student in Rome in 2016.

Rome police have launched an investigation after a man was attacked and killed on the banks of the river Tiber near Ponte Sisto, in the city centre, at around 19.20 on 7 May.

The body of the 38-year old Romanian man was found with what appeared to be knife-wounds to his face and hands. He also appeared to have been attacked by a dog, according to reports in local media.

Police have arrested the alleged perpetrator, identified by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera as 45-year-old homeless man Massimo Galioto who last year was acquitted of murdering the American student Beau Solomon in the early hours of 1 July 2016.

The scene of the crime. Photo Corriere della Sera.

Beau Solomon

Prosecutors had alleged that Galioto - a former soldier turned 'punkabbestia' - pushed Solomon into the Tiber after a violent argument, causing him to drown. However Galioto denied the charges of aggravated homicide and said Solomon tripped and fell accidentally.

Witnesses told police that they had seen somebody pushing Solomon into the river, and when the student's body was found near Ponte Marconi four days later, it had a serious head wound, consistent with a fall. The autopsy found water in Solomon's lungs which ruled out the possibility that he was dead when he entered the river.

The case attracted media attention around the world, with Pope Francis consoling the student's parents in a private audience.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi responded by staging a high-profile blitz to "clear" the river banks of illegal camps belonging to homeless people, who subsequently returned.

In another separate case in 2015, Galioto was the main suspect in the death of a man who fell into the river after getting into a fight beside Ponte Garibaldi. There were no witnesses and there was nobody convicted in the case which is now closed.

Photos Corriere della Sera

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Address Piazza Trilussa, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

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Man killed on river bank in central Rome

Piazza Trilussa, 00153 Roma RM, Italy