this is too weird.... From ANSA.it news:
Venice shaken by 'mad biker'
Tourists flee as motocross rider jumps bridges (ANSA) - Venice, January 10 -
Police on Tuesday nabbed what at first appeared to be a crazed motorcyclist who had been terrorising residents and tourists by racing through the lagoon city's historic center.
The switchboard operator at police headquarters reportedly thought she was the target of a prank when calls came in complaining about a man racing his hot new motocross bike down Venice's narrow streets, across its picturesque bridges and along the canals, past slow-moving gondolas.
The wild ride finally came to an end near the university when police arrested the rider of a Yamaha 250cc with an American flag flying from its back mudguard.
The rider was later identified as 47-year-old E.D. from Santa Maria La Longa, near Udine. He reportedly told police that he bought the bike the day before.
Although the rider gave no impression of being unstable or dangerous, police are said to be making calls to see whether he is under treatment at any mental facility in the area.
Several months ago two French tourists were arrested for joy-riding their motorbikes through Venice.
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Did he have to be flying an American flag from the rear bumper? It's going to start a series of "ugly American" tourist stories!