ROME – A man who unwittingly caused a major alert at Rome’s central station by wandering through the terminus holding a toy gun handed himself into police on Tuesday after his mother recognized him from security video.
Police evacuated the vast station on Monday evening after receiving panicked calls that a lone gunman was on the loose. Heavily armed special forces were sent in but failed to find the suspect and called off the alert.
Unknown to them, the man had caught a train home.
“I had absolutely no idea that I had caused such a mess,” the 44-year-old man, who has not been named, was quoted as saying by Italian media.
He told police a friend had given him the plastic machine gun for his young son. “It is for carnival,” he said.
He went to the police after his mother recognized him from a picture that was shown on television and on the front pages of several dailies. “She said to me ‘they are looking for you.’ “
Italian media said the man does not face any charges.