Maurizio Cerrato, Pompeii janitor brutally killed for defending daughter


Maurizio Cerrato, 61, janitor of Pompeii Archaeological Park, was brutally killed by four people for defending his daughter after an argument. The world of culture rallies around the family.

He was barbarically murdered Monday night in Torre Annunziata, in front of his daughter, Maurizio Cerrato, a 61-year-old janitor on duty at the Pompeii Archaeological Park. Details of the tragic and senseless affair have been released in the last few hours, after carabinieri from the Naples provincial command executed a detention order issued by the Torre Annunziata Public Prosecutor’s Office against four people believed to be responsible for the murder (the four men, aged 26, 33, 41 and 51, who were identified thanks to the speedy investigation by Torre Annunziata carabinieri, are now in Poggioreale prison).

For investigators it was “a real punitive expedition” against the 61-year-old: Cerrato had in fact intervened during an argument in a parking lot to defend his daughter, and even according to the latter it was a real ambush. “I would like to clarify,” he wrote on social media, “that it is not correct to say that my father died in an argument, my father was ambushed in full force, just to defend me, who was the light of his eyes. My father was stabbed, and he never had anything to do with these people.” According to the investigators’ reconstructions reported in the local press, “the victim’s daughter, a few hours before the murder, had parked her own car on the public street, occupying a space arbitrarily occupied by the family of one of the arrestees with a chair, which the girl had moved to make room for her own car, to which, in retaliation, a wheel had been punctured.”

Returning from work, the girl, upon seeing that the wheel of her car had been punctured, reacted by placing the chair on the roof of the defendants’ car. The young woman’s gesture provoked an initial verbal and physical assault by one of the arrestees: the father had intervened to defend his daughter and later helped her replace the punctured wheel. As he was about to carry out the latter operation, he was attacked a first time, and the Pompeii janitor, in an attempt to defend himself, had broken his attacker’s glasses, offering, moreover, to buy them back from him, in a gesture of dtente. But the attacker, after walking away, returned with three other arrestees, including his brother and another family member, who continued the brutal action by violently and repeatedly beating Cerrato: at the climax of the ambush, three of them held him down while one stabbed him in the chest. The four would then flee. In the course of the investigation, the investigators noted, “absolute lack of cooperation on the part of the persons present at the event and who had witnessed the murder” and “some conduct of evidential pollution” (such as concealing the murder weapon, preparing a fictitious alibi, and attempting to wash the clothing worn at the time of the murder).

The world of culture has begun in recent hours, after investigators released the names of the victim and details of the attack, to communicate their condolences for the passing of Cerrato, remembered by colleagues as an exemplary worker. The first message of closeness came from the very Park where Cerrato worked: “The Archaeological Park of Pompeii closes its arms around the family of Maurizio Cerrato, a security guard at the excavations of Pompeii, who was barbarously murdered in Torre Annunziata. Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel and the Park staff express condolences and sympathy for this regrettable and brutal death.” Closeness also from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples: “The Director, Paolo Giulierini, and the MANN staff express deep condolences for the tragic and unacceptable death of Maurizio Cerrato, Custodian at Pompeii - Archaeological Park.” Condolences also from the association Mi Riconosci: “Maurizio Cerrato was a colleague, working as a custodian in the archaeological area of Pompeii. He was barbarically killed three days ago in an attempt to defend his daughter from an intimidating underworld attack. This is a grave loss that leaves us bewildered and speechless. Joining the grief of his friends and family, we hope for a strong stance from all institutions involved, to leave no respite to violence and organized crime.” Additional messages of sympathy also came from the Archaeological Circuit of Ancient Capua and others in the world of culture and archaeology.

Maurizio Cerrato, Pompeii janitor brutally killed for defending daughter
Maurizio Cerrato, Pompeii janitor brutally killed for defending daughter