Putting someone under house arrest could prove difficult if the person in question does not actually have a home. But in the case of Domenico Codispoti, a 48-year-old Italian homeless man with a record that included petty theft, attempted robbery and drug dealing, Milan authorities found a way: make Codispoti stay in the same spot on the side of street from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
According to Worldcrunch, “every evening at 9 p.m. sharp, Codispoti arranges his blankets and his sleeping bag in front of the door of the number 22 via Pisani under deserted arches. He is not allowed to move until 7 a.m. the next morning. After sunset, like clockwork, a patrol comes to check he is at ‘home.’”
“'I have always done my stealing at night," he notes, lighting a cigarette. "That’s why the court gave me this sentence. Since I don’t have a house, there was no other solution left — during the night I can’t move, I have to stay here, stuck on this sidewalk.’”
Codispoti began his sentence in 2006 and will continue serving it until April 13, 2014. While his recent years have been turbulent and crime-filled, his was merely a family man with a bar two decades ago.
“Then in 1994, the first troubles with drugs: the place was closed down, he ended up on the streets and moved to Milan,” according to Worldcrunch. “He's been here ever since."
"It’s an original story to say the least," notes the lawyer who has been assisting Codispoto for seven years. "We will try to get the measure revoked, my client should stay in a house or a community — at least he would go through the next months with a roof over his head.’”
As strange as it might seem, Codispoti is not the only homeless man put under house arrest in recent memory. In 2010, Daron Nickens Jr., then 19, pleaded no contest to abduction charges in Florida and was subsequently sentenced to six months of house arrest, probation and 12 months in a group home.