Italian police have arrested a man over the brutal killing of a Nigerian street-seller, an attack that was filmed by onlookers in broad daylight without any apparent attempt to intervene.
Video footage of the attack on disabled man Alika Ogorchukwu has circulated widely on Italian news websites and social media platforms.
Police said people can be heard saying “stop” but no attempts were made to separate the pair.
The wife of the victim, Charity Oriachi, said: “I need justice for my husband, that is what I want. Because it is too much, the pain is too much for me.”
His death has elicited outrage as Italy enters a parliamentary election campaign in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration an issue.
“The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu is dismaying,” Enrico Letta, the head of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter, naming the vendor who died on Friday.
“Unheard of ferocity. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.”
Police have detained 32-year-old Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, who was tracked down using street cameras after the vicious attack.
He is being held on suspicion of murder and theft, the latter for allegedly taking the victim’s phone when he fled.
Mr Ogorchukwu, 39, was selling goods at midday Friday on the main street of Civitanova Marche, a beach town on the Adriatic Sea coast, when an Italian man grabbed a crutch the street-seller used to walk and struck him down, according to police.
Footage shows him being wrestled to the ground, despite attempts to fight back.
Police chief, Matteo Luconi, told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that onlookers called police, who responded to the scene after a suspect had fled and attempted to administer aid to the victim. It was not clear if he died at the scene. An autopsy will determine how he died.
Luconi told Sky TG24 that the assailant lashed out after the vendor made “insistent” requests for pocket change. Police were questioning witnesses and have taken into evidence videos of the attack. They said the suspect has made no statements.
Mr Ogorchukwu, who was married with two children, resorted to selling goods on the street after he was hit by a car and lost his job as a labourer due to the injuries he suffered.
The accident left him with a limp, and needing crutches, said Daniel Amanza, who runs the ACSIM, association for immigrants in the Marche region’s Macerata province.
Amanza claimed the aggressor became infuriated when Ogorchukwu told the man’s companion she was beautiful.
“This compliment killed him,” Amanza told The Associated Press.
“The tragic fact is that there were many people nearby. They filmed, saying ‘Stop’, but no one moved to separate them,” Amanza said.