Italy: American Students Accused of Murdering Cop in Drug Deal Gone Bad


The Mayor declares mourning in Somma Vesuviana 
His wife is a widow 43 days from the wedding 
Hero in service, selfless and volunteer in Lourdes

____ Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio per VT Italia

Found in the hotel room where the two 19-year-old American boys stopped for the death of the deputy carabinieri deputy Mario Cerciello Rega were found, a knife of considerable size stained with blood, hidden behind a ceiling panel, and the clothes worn during aggression.

UPDATE JULY 27 2019 – 00.15 hours

According to the investigators, the two American students wanted to buy drugs from a pusher in Piazza Mastai in Rome. When they realized he had given him simple aspirin, they followed him and stole his purse to get the money back. It would have been the same drug dealer, now under house arrest, to contact the carabinieri, saying he had made an appointment with the two Americans to return the bag. At the meeting one of the two young men would have lost his head in front of the plainclothes soldiers, killing the vice brigade with 8 stab wounds. To admit the stabbing was the boy stuck by a video and his hair wasted, After 10 hours of interrogation last night admitted the mortal aggression. It would be a sickly guy. The two had already booked a flight to return to the US yesterday evening. Precisely for this reason they were subjected to detention.

ARTICLE 26 JULY 2019 AT 11.30 PM

He confessed the murderer of the 35-year-old policeman Mario Cerciello Rega who intervened in the historic center of Rome to thwart a theft and the subsequent attempted extortion. The vice-brigadier was hit with at least eight stab wounds, one of which was at the heart, which made the ambulance run at the Santo Spirito hospital where the Arm soldier died during a desperate attack at around 4 am on Friday. resuscitation attempt for fatal blows, vibrated with unprecedented violence: to kill. More updates here .

Flowers and crowns in front of the Carabinieri Station of Farnese in Rome where Mario Cerciello Rega served

While the whole of Italy tightens around the Meritorious and the relatives of the fallen victim in the fulfillment of her duty and returned only ten days ago from the honeymoon, her colleagues of the investigative departments have brought the first suspects into the barracks: it is about four North Africans. It seemed that among them there were the two authors of the mugging that ended with the brutal murder. But as the hours go by, the investigative framework becomes more complicated because the hypothesis that the two thieves are different from those of the attempted extortion and the subsequent fatal stabbing is becoming more and more important.

Two 19-year-old American students who would have attended John Cabot University (but the university denies at the time) have in fact been stopped. Although initially they were only suspected of pickpocketing the pusher, the truth gradually emerged.

The two Americans detained in the barracks of the Carabinieri of the Investigative Unit of Rome: the boy with the meches would have admitted to having stabbed the vice brigadier

One of the two Americans yesterday late at night would have collapsed admitting he was the perpetrator of the stabbing without, however, clarifying motive and dynamics: it would be the boy with hair bleached by streaks. To capture him a video with the escape but other people would be implicated in the deadly aggression and it remains to clarify the role of the North Africans. Meanwhile, the diplomacy of the US Embassy in Rome has already been set in motion for legal assistance to its citizens.


According to a first reconstruction a person, later revealed to be a drug pusher, was a pickpocket in Piazza Mastai, in Trastevere, on the night between Thursday and Friday. To get back the purse and the mobile phone, the victim immediately called his own number to agree with the thieves. He agreed in this way that in the jargon he calls himself a “return horse” saying he is ready to pay the 100 euros requested by the criminals as blackmail to give her back the bag. But at the appointment in Piazza Cavour the robbed person presented himself together with the soldiers he had previously alerted.

When the Carabinieri (apparently in plain clothes) blocked them in via Pietro Cossa, in the Prati district. one of the two, like an experienced street delinquent, has extracted a knife and stabbed the deputy brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega eight times: not only to look for the escape route but to kill, a stab wound also in the back and one to the heart that probably it was fatal to the military of the Arma.

” When we saw them we approached, we qualified and after a few moments a struggle broke out,” said Cerciello’s colleague Andrea Varriale, in his superiors. ” After a while I heard Mario scream with multiple stabs – he told Adnkronos – I rushed to rescue him while the two took to flight. I immediately called for help and the operations center to ask for help and give a description of the two attackers “.

The colleague was slightly injured in the collision but immediately gave the alarm. The ambulance ride to Cerciello Rega is useless. The manhunt was immediately started in Trastevere and Prati and the search was directed towards North Africans of about one meter eighty high, one with a black sweatshirt, the other purple.


Following the investigations, four North Africans were taken to the barracks of the Carabinieri Investigation Unit on Via In Selci in Rome to be interrogated on the matter. The website of the law enforcement agencies already shows the image showing the personal data. Among them is 44, a 44-year-old Moroccan citizen who is unemployed and resident in Rome, a 43-year-old Algerian freelancer, and two other thirty-year-old Moroccans, the first unemployed and the second worker. It is not known whether the four suspects were released after the interrogation or whether they are still available to the police and judicial authorities. Two of them could still be in the barracks to clarify whether and how they played a role in crimes.

The suspects of the investigators, perhaps precisely thanks to the testimonies of the North Africans, were also centered on two American citizens who were long listened from the afternoon until late evening by the investigators in the presence of the magistrates.  At midday, as revealed by, the carabinieri made a raid on the Le Meridien Visconti hotel in Via Cesi, in the Prati area, and took two boys to take them to the barracks. These are two American citizens strongly suspected of theft. They have been identified thanks to a video recorded in Piazza Masai and shown in a preview by .

The images of the two Americans stopped by the Carabinieri spread in an exclusive video of Il Giornale – click on the image for the video

The prosecutor investigates for murder and theft, owner of the file, coordinated by the adjunct Nunzia D’Elia, is the pm Maria Sabina Calabretta. At the time of the six suspects no charges have yet been formalized but investigative circles reveal the circumstance that the dynamics of the snatching, attempted extortion and subsequent stabbing could hide some dark aspect on which the Carabinieri are trying to shed light. In the course of the research, the investigators extracted from a grating a pointed object, similar to an awl. It remains to be seen whether it is attributable to murder. Like the common kitchen knife that was extracted from the bottom of another grate on the opposite side of the building, at street number 54 of Via Belli.

Late in the evening it was learned that the two American university students were subjected to judicial police detention as they were mainly suspected of pickpocketing. One of them, however, cornered, would also have confessed to being the material author of the murder. But the investigations continue to shed full light on the stabbing, on the role of the other American university student and on possible accomplices.



Mario Cerciello Rega with his wife Rosa on the wedding day on June 19th

While the colleagues of the Benemerita are working at a fast pace to put a face to the murderer, the whole of Italy is mourning the vice-brigadier who was also an example of humanitarian heroism in helping others, also known for his trips to Lourdes. Cerciello had attended high school at the Manlio Rossi Doria in Marigliano. He was originally from Somma Vesuviano where his brutal killing threw the whole town into dismay and in particular the mayor Salvatore Di Sarno: “We will proclaim the mourning of the city – he declares – I will go to find the parents of the boy and his wife, who live here in Somma Vesuviana. I’m grieved: Mario and his wife Rosa had been married for just over a month. They had made tremendous sacrifices to move to Rome ».

Cierciello was a great fan of Naples: on Facebook he had recently posted a picture of Insigne’s shirt. Four years ago he also received a commendation for having accompanied a child in difficulty to the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome. He had returned home with his wife from Madagascar where they had spent a happy honeymoon, he had been married for 43 days (19 June) and 13 had passed since his last birthday.

Sandro Ottaviani, commander of the Carabinieri station in Piazza Farnese, direct superior of the vice-brigadier, thus remembers his man: “Mario was a good boy, a prepared carabiniere. He was a person who always thought about his neighbor, both during the service shifts and when he didn’t wear the uniform. He used to make pilgrimages to Lourdes and Loreto to help the suffering people every week. Without telling anyone, he volunteered. To the last he gave his clothes he also brought them breakfast. Not only does a brave carabiniere die, but a great man ».


“I learned with deep sadness the news of the death of Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega, mortally wounded while engaged in a police check,” writes the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, in the message sent to the General Commander of the Carabinieri, General of CA Giovanni Nistri. “In trusting that the responsible criminals will be caught quickly – continues the head of state – I would like to express to you, Mr. Commander General, and to the Arm of the Carabinieri, my sympathetic closeness, renewing the sentiments of consideration and gratitude for the newspaper commitment of the operators of the Weapon to the service of citizens ” “I beg you to send to the family members of the military the expressions of my heartfelt participation in their pain – Mattarella concludes – and my best wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured carabiniere”.

“The death of young deputy sergeant Mario Cerciello Rega, killed tonight in the performance of his duties, is a profound wound to the State – the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte wrote on Twitter – We will do our utmost to bring those responsible to justice. My closeness to the family and to the entire Arma dei Carabinieri ”.

“Manhunt in Rome, to stop the bastard who killed a stabbed policeman tonight,” said Interior Minister Matteo Salvini“I am sure they will take it, and that he will pay his violence to the end: forced labor in prison until he lives.” The owner of the Interior Ministry also spoke on the Giornale Radio Rai: “The first thought goes to this 35-year-old boy who had been married for a month and had just celebrated his birthday and the two bastards – we are working to get them as soon as possible – for which the life of a 35-year-old boy is worth a mobile phone and a wallet with 100 euros. And then the commitment to hire more and more men and women in uniform and to turn on more and more cameras and to improve more and more the endowment, I think of the electric gun that in a few weeks will be supplied by thousands of men and women in uniform and that I hope will avoid other dramas. For the moment there is prayer and the embrace of colleagues in the weapon and of Mario’s family “. According to the deputy prime minister, “the fact of tonight teaches us that with an electric gun a life could probably have been saved”.

The Minister of Defense, Elisabetta Trenta , tightened “in a strong embrace to the wife and mother of deputy brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega and to the Carabinieri – she wrote in a tweet – I ask for zero tolerance for the delinquent authors of the vile act “. Then, interviewed on Uno Mattina’s microphones, she said: ” Zero tolerance : it is not admissible that a deputy brigadier of the carabinieri, 35 years old, married for a month, be killed in such a barbaric way, so heinous, with eight stab wounds. There is something inhuman about this. It cannot be tolerated ”. And he added: “The culprits are treated appropriately. Without extenuating circumstances ”.

“My hug to the military’s family and to the whole army – vice-premier Luigi Di Maio wrote on Twitter – It is a moment of great pain for the State”. “What happened tonight is a vile act not only against the weapon but against the state. I don’t know if the attackers are foreigners or not, but if they were non-Italian people, I hope the jail if they do it at home. If they are irregular they should not stay here “. “On the repatriation system, we still need to act more forcefully”, the political leader of the 5-Star Movement remarked.

A suffrage mass for the murdered deputy sergeant will be celebrated this evening at 6.30 pm, in the church of Santa Maria dei Pellegrini, right in front of the police station in Piazza Farnese. The funeral will be held tomorrow, July 27, at 12 in the church of Santa Croce, in Via Santa Maria del Pozzo number 114 in Somma Vesuviana. native opinion of the Carabiniere, of his wife who remained tragically widowed, after not even two months of marriage, for a ferocious criminal ambush.

Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio


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