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Carabinieri officer in Italy almost doors cyclist – then fines him for not wearing mask

Rider fell foul of law when he got off after being pulled over by police shortly after near miss in Turin

A cyclist in Italy who was almost doored by a carabiniere officer was handed a €280 fine – because once he got off his bike afterwards, he didn’t have a mask to put on.

Under rules aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 in force in the country at the time of the incident on 8 February, masks were not required to be worn by people riding bikes – but pedestrians did have to wear one, reports La Repubblica.

The incident happened at around 7.30 in the morning as the cyclist, a 20 year old whose first name was given as Mertcan, passed a patrol car that was being parked as he rode to work along Corso Moncalieri in Nichelino, a suburb in the south of Turin.

“One of the carabinieri opened the door without looking, and while he didn’t hit me, I wobbled a bit on my bike,” the rider explained.

“I asked the officer if he wasn’t in the habit of looking before he got out, that’s all I said, then I carried on but the car followed me and at the traffic lights they asked me to stop and show my papers.”

At that point, Mertcan took of his helmet and got off his bike – the latter proving to be a costly mistake, since he did not have a mask on him.

“I’d forgotten it,” he explained. “I knew I had some at work and my mother was going to by some more at the pharmacy that day, but I didn’t have any with me in my rucksack, and anyway I never stop on the way from home to work.

“I tried to explain [the situation] to him and first I went in a shop to ask for one, but it was a bakery and they didn’t have one, then I asked a man who gave me one, but I got fined anyway. It’s true, I didn’t have one, but I obtained one.

“I think things turned out this way because of what I’d said shortly beforehand, when I almost fell off my bike.”

The fine of €280 he was given would have risen to €400 if it had not been paid within five days, and while he did not agree with the fine, he paid it “because this money helps my family, I was worried that if I contested it, it would have cost me even more.”

He added: “I wear a mask all day long at work, people who refuse to wear one or gather to protest against vaccines should be fined, but I feel bitter about the way things turned out.

For their part, the carabinieri claimed that the cyclist had used more offensive and insulting language following the near-dooring than he had maintained, and insisted that stopping him was simply part of a normal road check organised specifically to check compliance with anti-COVID 19 measures.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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14 comments

Avatar
Rome73 | 2 years ago
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the photo at the top of the article looks as if it's a display of past and present Alfa Romeos In Carabinieri livery - the original Giulia, a 175, a contemporary Giulia and what looks like a 1980s Alfetta tucked in behind the Giulia. 

I had a Carabinieri point a pistol at me once when he caught me rolling a spliff (I was a lad) He did put it away once he realised it was 'mistaken identity'. He thought I was a reported bag thief. He sort of apologized and let me get on with it. I didn't even drop the unrolled spliff in all the 'excitement'. 

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PRSboy | 2 years ago
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I seem to recall the Carabinieri are military police, and it's usually best not to wind them up. 

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Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes
Quote:

... stopping him was simply part of a normal road check organised specifically to check compliance with anti-COVID 19 measures.

That has to be entrapment, since he only fell the wrong side of the covid law when he complied with the officer's instruction to stop.

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niceguysean@gma... | 2 years ago
3 likes

I was doored by a member of the Guardia di Finanzia many years ago (the Guardia di Finanza is a military body which reports to the ministro dell’Economia e delle Finanze = Chancellor of the Exchequer. Among its responsibilities are border control, fighting tax evasion, fraud and other financial crime, and combating international drug trafficking).
The driver admitted to the Polizia Locale attending the incident that he was responsible. I'll give him his due, he did come and see me in hospital. My T12 vertabre was cracked, so I spent 4-months in bed or wearing a brace when I was allowed up. 
End result, no damages paid out at all. 
Not worth arguing with the poice here in Italy, you won't win. 

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Flintshire Boy | 2 years ago
4 likes

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If cyclist spoke as cops claim, then no doubt cops have this on video.

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No, thought not.

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Cops the world over - not at all happy if someone has the temerity to speak back / challenge them. Does the job make them like they are, or are people like them attracted to the job? Suspect the latter.

.

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wycombewheeler replied to Flintshire Boy | 2 years ago
1 like

Flintshire Boy wrote:

.

If cyclist spoke as cops claim, then no doubt cops have this on video.

.

No, thought not.

.

Cops the world over - not at all happy if someone has the temerity to speak back / challenge them. Does the job make them like they are, or are people like them attracted to the job? Suspect the latter.

.

regardless of language, he was clearly targeted because of the incident

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belugabob replied to Flintshire Boy | 2 years ago
4 likes

The same as drivers of certain car brands - were they like that before they owned the car, or does it give off some mind altering chemicals?

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wycombewheeler replied to belugabob | 2 years ago
2 likes

belugabob wrote:

The same as drivers of certain car brands - were they like that before they owned the car, or does it give off some mind altering chemicals?

Pretty sure it's the former, I've been driving an audi for 7 years now, I haven't yet started raging at cyclists. A google search of my reg number does not result in any close pass videos being found.

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Captain Badger replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
2 likes

wycombewheeler wrote:

.....I've been driving an audi for 7 years now, ......

Burn him!

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mdavidford replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
7 likes

wycombewheeler wrote:

I've been driving an audi for 7 years now

Tirdeness can kill - take a break.

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Sniffer replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
2 likes

wycombewheeler wrote:

Pretty sure it's the former, I've been driving an audi for 7 years now, I haven't yet started raging at cyclists. A google search of my reg number does not result in any close pass videos being found.

You are brave.  I have never plucked up the courage to mention I have been driving an Audi (the same one for the last 11 years).  

Thinking about it, maybe I will still keep that a secret.  Shhh...

 

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Captain Badger replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
2 likes

Sniffer wrote:

....

You are brave.  I have never plucked up the courage to mention I have been driving an Audi (the same one for the last 11 years).  

Thinking about it, maybe I will still keep that a secret.  Shhh...

 

And him!

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wtjs replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
0 likes

I've been driving an audi for 7 years now, I haven't yet started raging at cyclists

This isn't you then? Hint: It's not about the close pass...bloody cyclists should stop at red lights and pay road tax...

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Sniffer replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

Nah, car is too modern.

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