Recently while in Rome 4 police officers tried to arrest me and my wife for not accepting a fine for allegedly buying pirated goods.
Crawling all over Rome street vendors selling pirated goods offer their goods, especially around the tourist traps.
We where looking at some glasses from one of these vendors when suddenly a cop in civilian clothes pounces on the vendor! at the same time 2 more grab mine and my wifes arm, while a forth start blabbering in Italian (probably reading us our rights or something).
i yanked my arm free while asking “what the fuck are you doing” i grabbed my wifes arm and freed her as well while issuing a stern ” don’t you fucking touch her”.
The officers seamed totally perplexed by this, and unsure of what to do they just stood there steering nervously around as if looking for the candid camera.
The senior officer, now seeing that the rest of his crew was incapacitated, pushed past the glass eyed crowd. Positioned himself in front of me, did some posture adjustments to look intimidating and stared at me with what i must assume was his (i am in charge here) stare, before continuing in bad Italian/English.
Po: You have been caught red handed in buying pirated goods you will be given a ticket.
Me: Ha ha ha! are you trying to look scary or something, ha ha 🙂
Me: You look ridiculous, ha ha ha. Im sure its not on purpose. Ha ha ha, what is this about anyway?
Po: ehhh (now starting to look more than baffled) you where trying to buy pirated goods, i have to give you a ticket.
Me: What pirated goods?
Po: These goods! (showing me a plate full of sunglasses)
Me: Do i look like i am an expert on brands?
Po: Ehhh no?
Me: How am i suppose to know that those are pirated?
Po: Ehhhh you must know they are so cheap?
Me: ???? am i supposed to find out if the product is real or not based on the price?
Po: eeehh Yeeees?
Me: Can you please explain how i can do that? and why you expect me to be able to do such a thing?
Po: No …….. i have to arrest you if you don’t accept the ticket.
Me: What ticket?
Po: For buying illegal goods?
Me: But i didn’t buy anything, you stopped me from buying the imitation sunglasses? eeehhh thank you i guess?
Po: The ticket????
Me: Wait are you trying to tell me that i get a ticket for not buying a cheap copy, that i have no way of telling was real in the first place??
Po: yes,…… (by this stage he is starting to look pale)
Me: Strange law ??? can you please let me know what law regulates that? i mean getting a ticket for not committing a crime i had no way of knowing would be a crime in the first place?
Me: can we call a judge or something? this seams strange to me? and i don’t like being touched, and i don’t like anyone touching my wife.
Can i report a complaint for that ?
Po: ehhehhh. no
Me: No to what?
Po: eeeehhhhh you can leave if you want to……..?
Me: i am free to go wherever i want?
Po: yes…. sorry about this.
Me: apology accepted, good luck with chasing these dangerous criminals.