Four teenage gang members were arrested in the northern city of Milan for terrorizing their neighbourhood in ten separate attacks which date from October 2012.
Known as the “Via Creta gang”, the teenagers allegedly singled out victims based on their sexual orientation, religion and nationality.
Their alleged crimes have been compared to those committed by the teenage gang in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 blockbuster ‘Clockwork Orange’, a film that details the horrific crime spree of a gang of young thugs in futuristic London.
The arrested members include the two “gang leaders”, two twin boys aged 17. An 18-year-old and another 17-year-old were also arrested. Twelve other gang members are currently being investigated, with one as young as 14.
Among their victims is a 50-year-old disabled man, allegedly attacked for being openly gay. Corriere della Sera reports that the victim was so shaken by the attack that he refused to leave his home, relying on social workers to bring food to his door and police to deliver documents under his door.
In another incident, a Jewish boy was badly beaten near a secondary school, apparently simply for looking at a girl.
On another occasion members of a music group with members from Eritrea, north-eastern Africa, had to be hospitalized for 30 days after they were allegedly targeted by the gang outside a kebab shop on Via delle Forze Armate in the south west of the city.
According to the paper, the gang members posted evidence of their crimes on Facebook and YouTube accompanied by homophobic and racist remarks.