Italian police say more than 50 migrants attacked and wounded 2 officers attempting to detain a Gambian man who led them on a high speed chase in Cerignola.
"I raised the baton to stop one of the cars passing by," one officer explained. "There was a Gambian inside, who pressed the accelerator instead of pulling over, trying to hit us. In the chase, the driver also resorted to a battering ram, attempting to push us into the ditch."
The driver, a 26-year-old African who reportedly has a lengthy rap sheet, eventually abandoned his vehicle near a large migrant "ghetto" and fled on foot.
The pursuing officers captured the suspect and were attempting to apprehend him when they became "the subject of vile aggression carried out by more than 50 non-EU citizens who surrounded them, hitting them repeatedly with kicks, punches and blunt objects," according to police union representative Giuseppe Vigilante.
"They punched and kicked us, threw stones and bottles at us," one officer said.
Both officers were reportedly injured and required medical treatment, with one suffering a broken nasal septum.
"If something opposite had taken place, everyone would publicly point to racism; while these incidents don't attract much attention," said Francesco Pulli, national secretary for the autonomous police trade union. "The idea that they'll get away with it pushes offenders to act like this. This is wrong. Anyone breaching the law must take responsibility. We must stand on guard for our policemen’s lives and health."