Italian police arrest an American fugitive from the “wanted” list in St. Peter's Square

Italian police arrest an American fugitive from the “wanted” list in St. Peter's Square

A judicial source said on Thursday that Italian police arrested last week, in the middle of crowded St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, a fugitive from the United States' “most wanted” list who was carrying three hidden knives.

The fugitive, now in custody, has been identified as Moises Tejada, and has been classified as violent by the New York State Correctional Service's Investigations Unit.

The 53-year-old is among the department's most wanted criminals. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported the news of the arrest and the source confirmed it.

Tejada aroused the suspicions of the local police, who arrested him and found stab wounds measuring 20 centimeters long.


St. Peter's Square was crowded with pilgrims and tourists, and Pope Francis held his general audience that day, April 10. It is unclear whether Tejada, convicted of robbery and kidnapping, threatened the pope.

Investigators discovered that he had recently arrived in Rome from Moldova. He previously spent some time in Ukraine.

According to La Repubblica newspaper, he informed the police that he had been on Ukrainian territory since 2022, to fight against the Russian invasion of the country.


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