AN IRISH rugby fan who was in Rome at the weekend for Ireland's Six Nations game against Italy was arrested for allegedly trying to take a machine gun from a soldier.
The man was part of a group of Irish supporters who Rome Police say were singing and screaming outside the city’s Spanish embassy.
In a statement on their official Facebook page, the Corpo di Polizia Locale di Roma Capitale said the man was “drunk” when he began to goad members of the anti-terror military to challenge him.
The statement read: "Rome Police arrested an Irish fan who threatened soldiers.
"Tense moments on Saturday night culminated in an arrest, because of a group of fans of Irish nationality.
“The incident happened around 7pm on Saturday night.
“Around 20 passing fans were singing and screaming in front of the Spanish embassy where a military jeep was stationed when one of them, drunk, began to mock the military up to challenge him.”
The statement added: “The situation gradually deteriorated when the fan started to shove the military, trying to grab a submachine gun.”
They added: "He was arrested and taken to the office."
Police said that after being taken to the police station, the arrested man spent a night in a cell waiting to be taken before a judge on charges of ‘violence and resisting a public official'.
The man was transferred to the San Giovanni hospital where medical checks were carried out.
Ireland claimed a comprehensive 63-10 victory over the Azzurri in the Italian capital on Saturday evening.
Tries from Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Craig Gilroy ensured a much-needed win for the men in green after a shock loss to Scotland a week previously.