Mobster shoots self in the foot

A suspected top mobster on the run for over a year was arrested in a private Athens clinic yesterday, after shooting himself in the foot during a revenge attack outside a village taverna Monday night. Aristidis Lakiotis, 39, was already wanted for murder, arson, bombings, extortion and fuel and cigarette smuggling. Police believe he was the right-hand man of Vassilis Stefanakos, 42, the suspected king of Athens protection racketeers who managed through ruthless gang warfare to bring the capital under his control. Over 30 suspected gangsters were arrested in July 2002, but Lakiotis remained at large even after the March 26 capture of Stefanakos. His downfall followed Monday’s shooting – in the legs and midriff – of Dimos Dimou, 22, outside a taverna in the remote village of Kyriaki, some 15 km south of Livadia in Viotia. Dimou survived the attack, which was apparently in revenge after a bar brawl on Saturday, but the gunman tripped while running to his getaway motorbike, and shot himself in the foot. Hours later, a wounded Lakiotis checked into a clinic, which called the police.