Manhunt on in Rome for suspect in officer’s on-duty slaying

ROME (AP) — Police in Rome are hunting for a suspected thief who fatally stabbed a Carabinieri officer.

Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police corps said Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed eight times early Friday by a suspect who allegedly snatched a bag with a cellphone inside and demanded 100 euros ($112) to return the phone.

Italian media say Cerciello Rega and a partner were in plainclothes when they confronted two suspects in the theft. Police said the bag’s owner contacted police for help after the alleged thieves sought a rendezvous to receive the ransom.

The slain officer’s station commander, Sandro Ottaviani, said the 35-year-old Cerciello Rega had returned from his honeymoon this week and in his free time fed the homeless out of his own pocket at Rome’s main train station.

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