Surveillance: Solomon tried to swim after fall into river

Beau's credit card was used after he died
Posted at 10:13 AM, Jul 07, 2016
ROME -- The lawyer for a homeless man accused of pushing an American student into the Tiber River in Rome says surveillance footage of the scene shows the teen tried to swim a few strokes after falling in but was carried off by rapids and quickly disappeared.
Attorney Michele Vincelli, who is defending suspect Massimo Galioto, said Thursday the dynamic of the incident is clear on the video but that it's still unclear who was responsible for the death of 19-year-old Beau Solomon.
While Galioto was on the riverbank in the early hours of Friday, at least three other people were there as well, Vincelli told reporters outside the Rome jailhouse after a judge confirmed Galioto's arrest.
"My client declares absolutely that he did not give the push," he said.
Galioto was detained Tuesday on suspicion of aggravated homicide, a day after Solomon's body was pulled from the river downstream. Solomon had last been seen at a bar early Friday, just hours after arriving in Rome for a summer study program at John Cabot University.
Galioto's companion, Alessia Pennachioli, who lives with him in a makeshift encampment under one of the Tiber's bridges, said Solomon "accidentally fell into the river" after he and Galioto scuffled. She said Solomon was drunk, and had been accompanied down the stairs to the riverbank by two North Africans who had robbed him.
"The victim had the bad luck to fall in the most unlucky spot in the whole river because just a bit further down there are the rapids," Vincelli told reporters. "You can see he tried to swim, but then he was pushed over the rapid where there are also rocks that come out of the river."
The video, shot from the other side of the river by police surveillance cameras, is in the hands of Italian prosecutors, he added.
 An autopsy showed Solomon was alive when he fell in the water, news reports said.
In addition to the events surrounding the death, investigators are looking into Solomon's credit card, which was used at a Milan store a day after he died.
"It is a given that the boy was robbed and probably brought down onto the riverbank of the Tiber with the presumed thieves but then they go away and then the next episode starts during which there are various people who argue with the boy," Vincelli said.