Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Drive-time desperado crashes and yearns
I might have to try this....
An unemployed Italian man from Turin has been charged with fraud, harassment and damage to property after allegedly orchestrating at least 500 car crashes in a doomed effort to meet young women.
The driving record of Andrea Cabiale, arrested in March, has astonished and even amused many of his neighbours.
But for the hundreds of women unlucky enough to meet him on the road, an encounter with Cabiale was a distressing and costly experience. A minor bump, always apparently the woman's fault, was usually followed by an informal cash settlement and months of telephone calls and rejected invitations to dinner.
When a number of victims complained to police of harassment, the scale of Cabiale's hazardous dating game was quickly exposed. Police searching his flat found 2159 photographs of damaged vehicles and their female owners, all taken by Cabiale immediately following his accidents. An address book was also found, containing hundreds of names and phone numbers, all belonging to women aged between 20 and 40.
In one of Cabiale's cars investigators found a mechanism that temporarily disabled the vehicle's brake lights.
When Inspector Maurizio Muscarello contacted the women concerned, all told a similar story of running their car into the back of Cabiale's vehicle at traffic lights or a junction. He would then suggest an informal settlement. Happy not to lose their no-claims bonus, most women agreed and handed over contact details.
Patrizia Caiero, 28, who crashed into one of Cabiale's vehicles a year ago, said he "got out giving the impression that he was going to be really decent about it. He said he didn't want to make a formal claim ... It became a nightmare. He was ringing me six or seven times a day.
"At first it was all about the car, then it started getting personal."
Inspector Muscarello believes that Cabiale, who has amassed the largest number of accidents in Italian motoring history, has been seeking out vulnerable women drivers for at least 10 years.
Cabiale, a shy-looking bearded man of 40, appears determined to fight the charges. The number of accidents, he said, was a result of bad Italian driving habits.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.