Police said the attacker, a man in his 40s with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and a criminal record for drug dealing, was subdued by a colleague of the 52-year-old doctor. She had been meeting privately with the patient Wednesday in Bari, a city in the southern region of Puglia.
Prosecutors said investigators were examining the attacker's medical records to learn why he was under treatment. No motive for the attack was immediately known.
Puglia's health commissioner, Elena Gentile, said she was told that the attacker had sat calmly in the waiting room for 30 minutes before his appointment, showing no signs of agitation.
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