Arguelles Metro station, platform 2, line 6, direction Pacífico. It is 9.40am and dozens of people are waiting to board the next train. Suddenly a man kicks a passenger from behind onto the tracks just as a train is approaching.
The incident took place on Friday, August 2, in Madrid, causing panic and fright among bystanders. With no apparent motive, the aggressor approached his victim, a 23-year-old man, and kicked him in front of the train. Fortunately, the victim reacted quickly, rolling to one side and flattening himself under the platform’s overhang which saved his life.
Tensions ran high as bystanders waited to see if the victim had survived and those close to the alleged aggressor restrained him until the station’s security guards arrived on the scene. After handcuffing the man, the security forces proceeded to inform the national police and Samur emergency ambulance service of the incident.
Once the train had passed, the victim lifted his head and clambered onto the platform with the help of bystanders. Although the incident could have been fatal, the 23-year-old escaped with only minor injuries on his elbow and right forearm.
The alleged assailant is a 27-year-old Brazilian man named Bruno. After the unprovoked attack he was taken to the police station in Chamberí and on Saturday, a judge ordered him to be held on remand without bail on a charge of attempted manslaughter.
According to his sources close to the investigation, Bruno has already been involved in a number of disturbances this summer with two arrests for causing bodily harm and another for attacking officers of the law.
On June 7, Bruno was arrested for instigating a conflict in an outdoor bar on Poblados avenue in the south of Madrid. Without any apparent motive, he destroyed the bar’s furnishings and, when criticized by the owner, lashed out at him and nearby customers, fracturing one patron’s elbow. When the police were called, they had some difficulty restraining and arresting him.
One month later, on July 10, Bruno caused another disturbance in the center of Madrid on Preciados street, flicking the butt of his cigarette into a passing police patrol vehicle, which had its windows down. The officers got out and approached Bruno who again resisted arrest, kicking and punching the police officers who eventually managed to restrain him and take him to the police station in central Madrid where he was charged with causing bodily harm and attacking police officers.
Given his track record of unprovoked attacks on strangers, police sources believe that Bruno is suffering from a psychological disorder.
While the victim of the Metro incident last Friday emerged relatively unscathed, similar incidents have produced a very different outcome. In October 2005, for example, when 23-year-old Jorge R. V. pushed Miriam Alonso Corraliza onto the tracks at Carabanchel Metro station, the approaching train amputated her left leg and a toe on her right foot as well as breaking her hip and seriously injuring her face. Her aggressor, who lived in Fuenlabrada, was sentenced to 11 years in a psychiatric unit.
English version by Heather Galloway.