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Elderly Italian fights off migrant robber in Milan

Attilio Fini, the former coach of Italy’s national fencing team, says an Algerian held him at gunpoint

An Algerian national reportedly attempted to rob an elderly man in Milan earlier this week, according to Italian news outlets. However, the thief, despite being armed with a gun, was quickly knocked down by his would-be victim, who turned out to be the former training coach for Italy’s fencing team.

The 93-year-old Attilio Fini shared his story with the Corriere news outlet, jokingly stating that his attacker “didn’t know that I ate the livers of many referees on the platform.” Fini led Italy’s national saber team for nearly 30 years between the 1970s and 1990s and helped the country score a number of victories, including gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Fini said the incident took place on Monday evening at the Piazza De Agostini in Milan, near his home. The former coach says he was coming back from a walk when he was stopped by a man who attempted to rob him. “I realized he was pointing a gun at me. At that moment he ordered me: ‘Give me the money or the watch’.”

Instead of complying, Fini says he immediately reacted by attacking the robber. “I punched him in the face, then struck his hand which made his revolver fly away and then pushed him. He ended up being stuck between some scooters,” the coach recalled. After that, some young people also stepped in and apprehended the criminal while waiting for police.

Fini stated that his attacker turned out to be an Algerian national who was wanted in his home country for murder. “Not a little thing,” Fini noted.

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The former coach stated that his past experience had helped him deal with the situation, as the decisions and reflexes he used were the same that were needed on the platform in fencing. “More than anything it was an attack on the opponent’s time. As in saber, when you have to burn your rival on the sprint,” Fini explained, noting that his instincts told him to act “immediately.”

However, the coach admitted that he was later reprimanded by his family, who suggested that he should have given the robber what he asked for instead of risking his life. “Maybe they are right, but I’ll tell you one thing: it’s the first time I’ve experienced something like this and I hope it never happens again,” he said, noting at the same time, that if it were to happen again, he would probably not act any differently.

Fini noted that there is “too much evil around” and that safety has become a problem. “Once upon a time there were neighborhood police. Today, to defend yourself, you have to fend for yourself.”


December 22, 2023 at 10:52PM

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