A video making the rounds on the internet exposed refugees attacking an Italian television reporter and her cameraman during a live shot last week as the reporter talked about the refugees' arrival to her country.
The video, which appeared to be translated by the person who uploaded it, shows Francesca Parisella, a young reporter for Italian TV network Matrix, speaking to Matrix news anchor Nicola Porro about refugees from Africa who were sleeping at the central train terminal in Rome.
According to Parisella, the refugees were staying outside the train station because they wanted the opportunity to get to Milan, a city in northern Italy, so they could reach other European countries.
But less than a minute into her report, Parisella and her cameraman were attacked from behind by a group of refugees not seen on camera.
"We've been assaulted," Parisella said suddenly as the camera dropped, according to the video's translation.
"What's happening, Francesca?" Pirro immediately asked.
"They assaulted us," Parisella replied.
"Get out of there! Don't worry!" Pirro shot back, attempting to reassure his reporter.
Parisella suddenly screamed loudly yelled between screams: "What do you want? What do you want? You're crazy!"
"Oh God. Francesca, get out of there," Pirro finally said as the camera panned back to Pirro and two other guests in studio. Pirro then instructed his producer to immediately call the police and send them to Parisella's aid.
After a few tense moments, the producers returned to the cameraman's live feed where Parisella was talking from inside a cab and police were talking to some unknown people, possibly the refugees. It appeared the men were arguing with police, who said they wanted to check the men.
Video posted to the official Matrix news network Facebook page corroborated the events in the YouTube video — albeit without translations — and said the attack happened May 3.
According to Italian news outlet il Giornale, the refugees were able to attack the cameraman and damaged his camera. However, Parisella and her cameraman were able to make it to safety after seeking refuge in a nearby cab.
A translation from il Giornale by the Vlad Tepes blog described the events:
As soon as Nicola Porro connected with his correspondent around 11:30 pm at the Station Terminal of Rome to document the situation of the campers who congregate there at night, Francesca Parisella had just enough time to begin the connection before announcing, “They have assaulted us.” With the camera weaving, it was understood that the journalist and her cameraman were fleeing and the voice of the reporter changed in tone into an actual cry of fear. A few minutes later, Porro, from the studio, explained that, “Francesca is upset but well. They have destroyed the camera and beaten the cameraman. A situation such as this evening’s should not be a report from a war zone. Thanks to a taxi driver, a much worse outcome was avoided.” The version was confirmed by Parisella herself, by telephone shortly thereafter. “We were at a distance to report on the type of welcome we can give; they were disturbed and they assaulted us. They chased me and grabbed me by the jacket,” explains the journalist.
According to tweets posted by the Matrix news station, Roberto, the cab driver who saved Parisella, will soon be a guest on the show she works for, according to a translation by Twitter.
Tra poco a #Matrix ospite Roberto, il tassista eroe che ha soccorso la nostra @FParisella durante l'aggressione all… https://t.co/tozyJkEqp9— Matrix (@Matrix) 1494196473.0
Police also told Parisella that she was "very lucky" to get away, according to a translation by Twitter.
#Parisella: "La #Polizia mi ha detto che sono stata molto fortunata" #Matrix @FParisella— Matrix (@Matrix) 1494197299.0