Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Breaking News

Breaking News!

I just got a report that someone tried to get into the popemobile at today's papal audience. I will update when I have more information.

Update: 6:50 am: The man attempted the climb in the open vehicle, but was wrestled to the ground by Swiss guards and Vatican police. Reports say that the Holy Father didn't even seem aware of the disturbance.

Update 6:53: I am watching the video on CNN right now and the pan climbed the barricade and lept into the back of the open Popemobile as Pope Benedict was going through the crowds at the beginning of the audience. The man was tackled immediately and Pope Benedict was completely unaware of the event because it was behind him.
Way to go Swiss Guards and Vatican Police! This could have been a very bad situation. I wrote a report early this year on the Swiss Guard and I was shocked by the number of threats that are made on the Pope's life. For guys in "clown suits" they really are a well trained and formidable security force. I would trust them to guard my life anyday.

Update 10:14 am: The man is identified as being a 27 year old German whose goal was to attract attention to himself and not to harm the Holy Father. He was questioned by Vatican police and brought to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

The AP report states:

The man was a 27-year-old German who showed signs of "mental imbalance," said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

"His aim was not an attempt on the pope's life but to attract attention to himself," Lombardi told reporters.

The man, whom Lombardi declined to identify, was interrogated by Vatican police and then taken to a hospital for psyciatric treatment, he said.

The man wore a pink T-shirt and dark shorts, a beige baseball cap and sunglasses. He vaulted up and over the barricade from the second or third row back. He got as far as the back of the jeep, holding onto it for a few seconds, before being wrestled to the ground.

The jeep kept moving, and the German-born Benedict kept waving, then proceeded with the audience as if nothing had happened.

Read the complete article here.

Here is a link to the video.

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