Pope Benedict XVI was waving to his general audience while being driven through St. Peter’s square in Vatican City on Wednesday when a man jumped a barricade and attempted to climb into the vehicle.
Commonly refereed to as the popemobile, the jeep allows the pope to stand behind the driver and give his audience a better view of the pontiff. On Wednesday the popemobile was uncovered, a typical occurrence when the pope is inside Vatican City. The vehicle is often equipped with bulletproof glass when the pope travels outside of the Vatican.
After the man jumped the barrier he was able to get his hands on the vehicle but never managed to climb inside as he was wrestled to the ground by security.
Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, identified the man as a 27-year-old German who appeared mentally imbalanced. Lombardi told reporters, “His aim was not an attempt on the pope's life but to attract attention to himself.”
It didn’t appear as if Pope Benedict ever noticed the man trying to climb into the vehicle. He continued to wave to the crowd through the whole ordeal and kept his audience despite the incident.