ROME (AP) — A judge ordered two AS Roma fans arrested after an attack on Tottenham supporters at a Rome pub to remain in jail Sunday pending a decision on whether to formally charge them, one of their lawyers said.
Police said on Friday that the two were accused of attempted homicide, causing injury and starting a fight before the English club's Europa League match against Lazio. But attorney Lorenzo Contucci, who is representing one of the men — Francesco Ianari — said the stiffest charge the men faced at a preliminary hearing to confirm their arrests Sunday was aggravated injury. He said the charge of attempted homicide with an aggravating element for the racial character of the attack had "disappeared."
During the brawl early Thursday, witnesses quoted by Italian news reports said the attackers shouted "Jew" at the Tottenham fans. Spurs have a large Jewish fan base. Seven people went to a hospital after the brawl early Thursday, one with a stab wound that severed his femoral artery.
Police said about 50 hooligans, their faces covered by motorcycle helmets and scarves, stormed "The Drunken Ship" pub in Rome's Campo de' Fiori square where the Tottenham fans were drinking. The pub owner, Marco Manzi, said they forced the British fans to the back of the pub and attacked them with cobblestones, metal rods and knives.
Lazio fans were initially suspected but the team denied its supporters were involved and to date only two fans of crosstown rival Roma have been arrested. In addition to being accused of causing aggravated injury, Ianari, 26, is accused of drug possession after police found some hashish during a search of his home, Contucci said.
The other defendant, Mauro Pinnelli, 25, is also accused of theft. Contucci said police discovered a British badge or plaque during their search that they believe was stolen during the brawl. Neither man entered a plea at Sunday's hearing, during which the judge ordered them to remain jailed. No further hearing dates were set.