He had been begging for spare change when he disarmed a robber armed with a meat cleaver, with his bare hands. Then he disappeared, fearing he was in trouble because his papers were not in order. But he was far from in trouble when they found him, and seen as a hero.
“If Pope Francis or the president of the republic could do something for me I would be the happiest man in the world,” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t want to be a hero."
He asked the Italian police captain who handled his case to be his godfather.