17 arrests for teen street fight near Varese

(ANSA) – MILAN, MAR 31 – Italian police on Wednesday made 17
arrests for a teen street fight at Gallarate near Varese in
January.
    Fifteen of those arrested are minors, and two over-18s, police
said.
    A 14-year-old boy was injured in the January 8 fight that had
been organised by two rival gangs.
    At least 100 youth took part, some of them wielding sticks and
chains.
    MIlan minors’ prosecutor Ciro Cascone said the episode was a “full-blown brawl that verged on urban guerilla warfare”.
    In all, 30 young people have been placed under investigation
over the dust-up.
    Some 26 of them were served with a DASPO ban from entering
shops, bars, restaurants and discos in the centre of Gallarate
in order to avert a recurrence of street fighting.
    This form of DASPO, a ban usually served on soccer hooligans, is
named after Willy Monteiro Duarte, a a 21-year-old Italo-Cape
Verdian cook who was beaten to death near Rome on September 6
after stepping in to defend a friend.
    Duarte’s alleged killers, a pair of brothers who are expert
mixed martial arts fighters, have been charged with his murder
in Colleferro.
    On October 8 President Sergio Mattarella awarded one of Italy’s
top honours, the gold medal, posthumously to Duarte and another
person also recently killed while trying to help others,
51-year-old priest Father Roberto Malgesini.
    Malgesini, who worked to help the poor and marginalised, was
stabbed to death in central Como by a homeless migrant with
mental-health problems.
    Duarte’s brutal alleged murder sparked calls for police to crack
down on street violence, after a spate of other episodes.
    Among the responses was the ‘Willy DASPO’, which carries
penalties of stiff fines and jail terms between six months and
two years.
    A turf war and jealousy spurred by a visit to two local girls
sparked the street fight in central Gallarate for which the
youths have now been arrested and placed under investigation,
local sources told local daily La Prealpina in January.
    Witnesses cited by La Prealpina said two boys from Malnate went
to see two girls from Cassano Magnago near Gallarate after
meeting them on social media, sparking the jealousy of two local
boys who were interested in them.
    The four had an initial fight which then led to a showdown in
the centre of Gallarate that youths showed up for after being
alerted on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, the daily said.
    Youth street fights are becoming more common in Italy.
    Another big street fight took place in Rome on the night of
January 4, when a 29-year-old man was arrested for going and
getting a handgun to defend one of the two rival groups.
    In December several youths, some with criminal records and some
minors, were identified after a mass street fight involving
hundreds of young people on Rome’s Pincian Hill on a Saturday
night.
    The dust-up, which featured gangs of youths without face masks
or with their masks lowered, was reportedly arranged on social
media by two girls, Rome daily Il Messaggero reported. (ANSA).
   

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