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Man tries to jump into popemobile

The Pope did not seem to notice the inci­dent

Pope­mo­bile inci­dent


A Ger­man man has tried to jump into Bene­dict XVI’s pope­mo­bile dur­ing his week­ly gen­er­al audi­ence held in St Peter’s Square at the Vat­i­can.

The 27-year-old man was wres­tled to the ground by secu­ri­ty offi­cers.

The Pope, him­self Ger­man, was not injured and did not seem to notice the inci­dent. He pro­ceed­ed with the audi­ence as nor­mal.

In 1981, Bene­dic­t’s pre­de­ces­sor John Paul II was shot by Turk­ish gun­man Ali Agca as he drove around the square.

The man who tried to jump into the pope­mo­bile on Wednes­day had been stand­ing among some 35,000 peo­ple who were attend­ing the audi­ence.

He leaped over the met­al bar­ri­ers sep­a­rat­ing the crowd from the pon­tiff and land­ed behind the mov­ing vehi­cle.

Sev­er­al secu­ri­ty guards grabbed the man, who was wear­ing a pink T‑shirt, black shorts and a base­ball cap.

He seemed to be try­ing to climb onto the Pope’s vehi­cle, an open jeep, as the pon­tiff was dri­ven around the square greet­ing pil­grims, says the BBC’s David Wil­ley in Rome.

The man was lat­er ques­tioned by Vat­i­can police before being tak­en to hos­pi­tal to be assessed in a psy­chi­atric ward.

Vat­i­can spokesman Fed­eri­co Lom­bar­di described the man as a “men­tal­ly unsta­ble”.

“His aim was not an attempt on the Pope’s life, but to attract atten­tion to him­self,” Mr Lom­bar­di said.


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