Man who died after Mossos arrest suffered blows to head

50-year-old Barcelona resident Juan Andrés Benítez was detained in October following a street fight

Juan Andrés Benítez, the 50-year-old Barcelona resident who died earlier in October following a street fight and his subsequent arrest by the Mossos d'Esquadra, had "multiple traumas to the cranium-facial region," according to an autopsy. None of these injuries were fatal but led to a heart attack brought on by the stress caused by the incident, the report stated. Benítez also had an "existing heart condition," causing arrhythmia.

According to the forensic examination, Benítez had a broken nose and cheekbone, injuries to his head and face, and a broken finger. He also had wounds on his arms, legs, knees and back consistent with being forcibly detained and receiving kicks and punches. As a result of the physical evidence, the report concluded that Benítez's death was "homicide" in nature, but was inconclusive about who caused the injuries that led to cardiac arrest: Benítez himself, the person he fought with, or the Mossos who arrested him.

Benítez died in front of his house after a violent altercation with a neighbor, Elías, whose son had told him Benítez was hitting his wife and threatening to kill her. "When I went down I found him shouting 'I'm going to kill you!' and hitting a car with his head and hands," Elías told EL PAÍS. The pair were separated by local residents but when the police arrived Benítez again turned violent, punching and biting an officer, several witnesses said. The Mossos then leapt on Benítez, delivering several punches. After he had been handcuffed, he passed out, according to the same witnesses.

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