Police in Rome were pushed back by residents when they tried to crack down on a well-known local flower vendor, city officials said.
Police said the man had a ambulatory license to sell flowers but he'd become "too stationary." When they tried to take down the man's stand and confiscate his plants Friday, residents became irate, shouted insults and blocked traffic, ANSA news agency said.
The crowd at one point was more than 100 strong.
"The citizens were right," Municipal councilor Marco Giudici said. "The municipal police use two measures and two standards. Though there are real problems [with unlicensed vendors] they take it out on the desperate and defenseless to simply take care of their administrative needs."