CRIME

Graffiti artists assault three passengers on Barcelona Metro

One of the suspects sprayed paint in the face of a pregnant woman, after a group of 34 people got off a train to vandalize the exterior

Metro de Barcelona
Metro de BarcelonaCarles Ribas

A group of 34 graffiti artists spray-painted a Metro train in Barcelona in the early hours of Sunday morning, and injured three passengers, including a pregnant woman. The municipal transport company TMB has announced it will be taking legal action against the culprits and has passed security camera recordings to the courts so that they can be identified as soon as possible.

One suspect was carrying items used for painting, as well as a Go-Pro camera being used to record the acts of vandalism

The incident took place at 3.48am in the Maragall station on Line 4 of the Barcelona underground system. A group of 34 people traveling inside the train pulled the emergency lever, just after it had passed through the aforementioned stop. The group got off the train and started to spray-paint the side of it, prompting passengers to recriminate them for their actions.

Some of the members of the group then attacked the passengers that were calling on them to stop. One of the graffiti artists sprayed paint in the face of a pregnant woman, while another two passengers were injured after being pushed and punched.

After the incident, the 34 people dispersed in small groups, with most of them managing to get out onto the street. One person was detained by the Metro security guards and was handed over to the regional police. The suspect was carrying items used for painting, as well as a Go-Pro camera being used to record the acts of vandalism.

The victims announced that they would be taking legal action against the group

The emergency services were called to the scene to attend to members of the public, none of whom had serious injuries. The victims also announced that they would be taking legal action against the group.

Along with other rail companies, TMB has sounded the alarm about a rise in acts of vandalism by graffiti artists, who are behaving increasingly more aggressive toward citizens in order to complete their paintings.

The rail authorities say that this kind of vandalism is currently the main problem in terms of safety for train operators throughout Spain. Operators have called for action to be taken to combat the practice, and are coordinating with the security forces and judicial authorities to take coordinated action.

Incident in Madrid

A similar incident took place just a few hours earlier in the Madrid Metro system, when a group of graffiti artists stopped a train on Line 7 at 1.20am, at the Hospital del Henares (Coslada) station to spray paint it. They vandalized around 18 meters of the stopped train.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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