A mob of 100 people attacked police who were trying to detain a man for theft, six officers were injured and 5 people have been detained so far.
Police officers were forced to draw their weapons and fired three shots into the air to avoid a public lynching in the Nou Barris area of Barcelona.
The crowd managed to free a man who police had detained and was handcuffed in the street. The man had been arrested for stealing a bottle of alcohol from a bar.
After receiving a complaint from the bar, Mossos officers located the thief in a park along with two others, he was also found to be carrying 10 grams of cocaine. The man launched an attack on officers to avoid arrest. Another man in the park then joined in on the side of the thief to prevent the arrest, and members of a nearby crowd, who were participating in a Botellon, then joined in by attacking officers by throwing glasses and other missiles. Officers were forced to fire into the air to repel the aggressors.
Police reinforcements soon arrived and the group was dispersed, four of the aggressors were arrested. A fifth person, the perpetrator of the theft that caused the confrontation, hours later handed himself in to authorities at a police station, he was still handcuffed.
All the detainees are of Spanish nationality, and are aged between 21 and 31 years old. One of the detainees was injured during the brawl and received medical attention at the Vall d’Hebron medical centre.
Six police officers were injured with cuts, scratches and bruises. One officer has been placed on sick leave for his injuries. Officers are this week continuing to search for other suspects, thought to have taken part in the mob assault.
This attack is not an isolated incident. In September a crowd attacked police officers at the Tiana, who were forced to flee. Then on October 9, officers responded to reports of a fight in the Ciutat Vella area of Barcelona, but when officers arrived a hostile group surrounded them, attempting to intimidate the officers.
The spout of high profile recent attacks resulted in 2,000 police officers attending a protest in Barcelona on October 23. Officers protested against the assaults, the lack of safety, and for greater respect. Officers of the Mossos d’Esquadra and local police participated in the protest.
The events come amid claims by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior this week that crime has reached an all time historical low, and that Barcelona has recorded a 39% drop in crime rates since 2019.
The claim has left long suffering residents of Barcelona as well as police officers, baffled. Despite what crime statistics may suggest, the reality is that Barcelona is only descending further into lawlessness, a sentiment echoed by residents and striking police officers alike.
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