THREE young people have been arrested in Benicarlo (Castellon) for allegedly kidnapping and torturing a man while streaming the whole ordeal on Instagram.
Only one of the suspects has been remanded in custody awaiting trial as he is 18 years old, while the rest of the gang are underage – 16 and 17 years old – and have been handed over to the juvenile prosecution service.
All three are currently accused of illegal detention, blackmail and threats, with the exact charges still to be determined.
The 30-year-old victim remains under observation at Castellon General Hospital in a serious condition. Reports suggest that the man sustained severe blows to the head, as well as broken ribs and a smashed vertebra.
In addition, the victim is also said to have deep injuries on one arm that could lead to the loss of the hand.
The alleged attackers did not live in the same block but are well known in the area for other criminal activities. Neighbours suggest that they probably broke in when the victim left his front door open, as he reportedly used to do when he went outside to dump the rubbish.
An unidentified person alerted the Guardia Civil after finding the video on Instagram Direct, recording it and sending the clip to the authorities. Officers recognised the house and rushed to the scene, catching the alleged torturers in the act.
In the video, the suspects can be seen shouting and threatening to kill the man, accusing him – falsely – of being a paedophile and smoking some kind of drug, while the victim cries and begs for mercy.
It appears that the motive for the assault was robbery, as at the time of arrest the Guardia Civil discovered one of the suspects holding a bank card that belonged to the victim and with which they planned to steal an unspecified sum of money.
To this end, the alleged kidnappers retained the main in his home from the early hours of Sunday morning until the afternoon, beating him with a spanner and other heavy objects which they reportedly showed, covered in blood, on the Instagram live video.