Vicenza. Reporter attacked in a public park

Valentino Gonzato (Il Giornale di Vicenza) was documenting the deterioration of the area after complaints from residents. The security committee has been convened to intensify on-the-spot checks

Valentino Gonzato, a black journalist and editor of the Giornale di Vicenza, on the morning of the 2nd April 2019, around noon, was jostled  and insulted by a group of seven or eight people who spat on him and stole his company mobile phone.

Gonzato was in the Fornaci park and was photographing and filming the degradation and the drug related incidents reported by the residents for several weeks; syringes, holes in the ground to hide the doses, small pieces of cellophane. While the journalist documented all this, he noticed that a group of people, some on bikes, were beginning to follow him. Then upon entering a footpath, the small group stood in front of him. Gonzato shouted and asked for help from the people in the park to warn the police. Eventually he managed to contact 113 on his personal mobile phone.

Three police patrols and one of the Carabinieri in support arrived on the spot, seized the mobile phone that had been stolen from the reporter and identified the attackers. These are youths  from the Gambia, almost all asylum seekers.

The journalist, with a sore wrist and back, was taken to the hospital where he was treated. Two days later the new prefect of Vicenza convened the safety committee with the aim of intensifying controls.

“An ugly interruption.  I hope– Gonzato declared to Ossigeno – that justice takes its course but, above all, that no one, not even other colleagues, in the course oftheir work, experience similar incidents “

Antonino Cicero

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