Sanremo, July 24 - The mayor of the Ligurian city of Sanremo has fallen under criticism after he reportedly kicked a beggar on the street in the city's center. Comments posted on Facebook by Democratic Party (PD) councillor Leandro Faraldi said that Maurizio Zoccarato from Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party committed and act of "gratuitous violence". Zoccarato denied any violence, saying that he "only wanted to send the man away with a decisive action...it was a gypsy with a dog. My opponents are taking advantage of what happened". Faraldi responded in an interview with a local newspaper that "the action was totally unwarranted since the beggar had gotten up and was trying to walk away".