A 40th birthday celebration turned into a mid-life crisis when half the party was put under arrest after a riot that saw six people hospitalised.
Five Britons, including one woman, are facing stiff prison sentences after the fracas left two policemen hospitalised – one with a broken arm.
Cars were smashed and a British woman was seriously injured after she was “deliberately” run over in the fighting that scarred a normal Friday night in Ronda.
Around a dozen policemen were involved in the fracas, which began when local Spaniards taunted the group of English, who were drinking in a sports bar in the centre of town.
Fighting spilled out into the streets near the famous Plaza del Socorro, as gangs of Spaniards joined in.
The ugly scenes even continued later at the police station when the British group continued to fight with officers.
“It was one of the blackest nights in Ronda’s recent history,” said a spokesman for Ronda town hall. “It has seriously damaged the public opinion of the foreigners who come to Ronda.
“But clearly a number of local Spaniards are also very much to blame.”
The problems began after midnight on Friday when the group of Brits, who were celebrating the birthday of local builder James “Jimmy” Bond, 40, moved to Huskies sports bar in Calle Molino.
They had earlier been drinking in various bars around the town including Limbo and the Irish bar, where they were reportedly ejected for being rowdy.
According to eyewitnesses they were already drunk when a gang of Spanish youths started to taunt the English women, who were dancing in the window of the bar.
The incident was sparked when a 16-year-old English minor, who lives in Ronda and speaks Spanish, went out to speak to the group.
The source told the Olive Press: “He told them not to insult his aunt, to which the Spanish replied they could laugh at who they wanted.
“That is when all hell broke loose. There were soon up to 50 Spaniards whistling and egging on the English as fighting broke out.”
With local policemen failed to deal with the trouble they had to call in the National Police, who were soon on the scene.
But they were unable to stop a Spanish youth allegedly driving his car into the group of English, “deliberately swerving to hit them”.
The silver Seat Leon – which eyewitnesses told the Olive Press was driving at between 20 and 40 kph – left 36-year-old Sharon Hudson lying in the road with a cracked skull and broken collar bone.
She was rushed to hospital, where she was given emergency treatment, and will remain in a neck brace for some months.
“She is very lucky to be alive,” James Bond told the Olive Press. “This idiot revved the car up and drove right into us. Sharon fell to the gutter in a lot of blood.”
Bond, who lives in Ronda, where he works as a builder, insisted that it was this incident that really inflamed the trouble.
He also claimed it was the Spanish who started the trouble when he and his group were “jumped on” when they left the bar.
“We paid up to find 15 to 20 of them outside. They began assaulting us.”
He added that that the police inflamed the situation by indiscriminately hitting out at his group when they arrived.
“We were forced into the square where they started hitting us with riot batons. Men and women indiscriminately.
“They broke my wrist and beat me black and blue.
“But they also hit my wife in the face and later beat up Maria my sister at the police station.”
The police however insist that they were attacked in the National police station.
According to the official reports the group launched a violent attack and were held overnight in cells and not released until an emergency court case on Saturday afternoon.
As the Olive Press went to press it appeared that only three of the group – James Bond, Maria Bond and Martin Bond – would be charged.
They are likely to be fined and given suspended sentences, with Maria and Martin allowed to take return flights back to the UK on Tuesday night.
According to police sources the driver of the car has been arrested and the case will be dealt with separately at a later date.
Head of Ronda’s local police Jose Carrasco, said: “They were tumultuous events, particularly as we are not used to this type of incident in Ronda with such a big group of foreigners.
“It involved a group of people becoming a little violent and worse for wear from alcohol. It is regrettable.”
i am still after 3 yrs waiting for this horrific night to end. not much consideration from the spanish authority, but i will be informing you of the outcome. my doubts are considerable of this rogue getting off lightly. i hope this positivley gets resolved, i wont hold my breath. i dont have much faith in the spanish system unfortunatly. and as for this night there really was only 7 brits against 50 spanish including off duty police officers.