Italy: Father throws toddler off bridge into river
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 23:42
Rome: An Italian man on Saturday threw his 16-month-old son off a bridge into the river in Rome in a fit of rage following a custody row, and was arrested by police as he fled, reports said.

The 26-year-old father admitted to police that he had thrown his son into the freezing waters of the Tiber river after arguing with the infant's mother.

He was caught in the act by a passing prison officer, who said the father was overwrought and yelled out before throwing the child over the edge.

The unemployed man who has a criminal record for drug dealing tried to flee the scene but was detained shortly afterwards by police, the reports said.

Divers from the fire brigade searched the river for the child but their efforts were hampered by strong currents and poor weather conditions.

"We're still searching, we'll search for as long as we can, but the snowfall and rain we've had these past few days has swelled the river, making it very difficult indeed," a spokeswoman for Rome's fire brigade service said.

Rome's deputy mayor, Sveva Belvisio, said the tragedy was "an appalling story which causes anguish and astonishment. It was an act of extreme cruelty."

"Our thoughts go to the innocent child, a victim of the violence of a father who, instead of defending and protecting him, treated him as an object on which to vent his frustration," she said.

Belvisio called for an "immediate and exemplary sentence" for the father.


First Published: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 23:42

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