ROME, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth Sunday when he was hit with a statue during a Milan rally, police said.
An Italian bricklayer was charged with aggravated assault in the attack.
Berlusconi, 73, was struck by a plaster replica of Milan's cathedral allegedly thrown by northern Italian Massimo Tartaglia, 42, the BBC reported Sunday.
The suspect, who reportedly has a history of mental illness, managed to navigate through Berlusconi's body guards and aides. He threw the statue at Berlusconi as the prime minister was greeting supporters and signing autographs, police said.
Looking dazed, Berlusconi grimaced in pain and was put into a car and driven to the hospital.
"He remained calm and leaned out the window as he was being driven to the hospital and waved to the crowd," Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said.
Tartaglia told police he attacked the prime minister because he hated him, the BBC said.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Berlusconi said from a San Raffaele hospital: "I'm fine, I'm fine."