Italian student stabs sleeping U.S. student while he was high on drugs

Reid Alexander Schepis arrested by police 
By: Hydar Tomar 

An Italian student stabbed a sleeping U.S. student while he was high on alcohol and drugs, according to school officials and law enforcement officials.

A United States citizen, 19 years old, was in critical condition on Friday, after allegedly being stabbed while sleeping by a fellow student after a night of partying in the Italian capital, officials said.

The victim Fabio Malpeso, who was born in New Jersey, underwent surgery for stab wounds in the lungs and other parts of his body. Police said on Friday, that Malpeso was in critical but stable condition at an intensive care unit in a hospital in Rome.

Authorities said the motive for the attack, which occurred in an apartment overlooking the famous Colosseum in Rome, early on Thursday, was not clear. However, investigators suspect drugs and alcohol-related delirium could be a factor.

The alleged stabber, who was taken to a police station and then a prison in the center of Rome, was named in a police document as Reid Alexander Schepis, 20. The suspect and the victim are both students at John Cabot University, a U.S. university in Rome.

Police said Schepis, resident of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, seemed to have dual U.S. and Italian citizenship, but were working to establish his nationalities.

A third man, an Italian about 30 years old named Andrea Rinaldi, suffered injuries to his arms and hands trying to defend Malpeso, and was in the same hospital, police said.

Paolo Guiso, a judicial police inspector who led the investigation, said on Friday, that Malpeso and Schepis had returned to the apartment, where the sisters of Malpeso, Federica, and Rinaldi, were also staying after a party at a nightclub on Wednesday night and early Thursday.

"Federica, Rinaldi, and Fabio, went to bed at 6:00 a.m. Thursday. Schepis stayed in the living room. At one point, he went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went to Fabio's room, where he began stabbing the sleeping youth. Hearing the screams and commotion, Rinaldi and the victim's sister ran to see what was happening. They entered to defend Malpeso and suffered cuts in their hands and arms," the official said.

"The motive for the attack is still unclear. Currently, we think the violence was caused by a drug and alcohol-related delirium," the official said.