On Wednesday evening in Barcelona, a male American tourist was brutally attacked and severely wounded by a group of African street vendors after he tried to assist a woman who had disputed with one of the many street vendors in the Spanish metropolis. A video shows that the tourist was chased by a mob of men who struck him repeatedly as he tried to escape. One of the men can be seen apparently wielding a weapon.

Identified so far only as Jose, 45, the American received a serious cut to his head, reportedly caused by a sharpened belt buckle during the attack. Emergency services rushed to his aid and were able to prevent him from bleeding out. Ambulance attendants found him in a pool of blood. The attack occurred in Plaza Catalunya in the seaside capital of Catalonia. The American was taken for treatment at Barcelona's Hospital Clinic and and has received assistance from the American consulate in Barcelona. Two of the man's family members were also injured and have made complaints to local police.

The dispute ratcheted upward after a woman, who was pushing a stroller with her baby in it, scolded a vendor because she could not freely circulate in the plaza because of his merchandise that was strewn on the ground. As a result, other street vendors began to threaten the woman. When the chivalrous American came to the woman's aid, he was whipped with a belt that cut him with the buckle. 

So far, the socialist mayor of Barcelona -- Ada Colau -- has not condemned on social media the attack. Her spokesperson claimed that the attack was an isolated event.

The American tourist told Spanish television, "They wanted to kill me. After the belt, they went for another weapon and that was when they started to pull my hair, and they even cut a vein on my head, to kill me. It was horrible." He added, "I have a poor impression of Spain. This country is becoming the Third World. I think this is really bad and it is the politicians' fault, who are putting tourists and their people in danger." 

Spanish police are investigating the incident. 

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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