The Catalan regional police say they have arrested a suspect involved in a racist attack on the Metro system in Barcelona on Saturday night. The victim, who is originally from Mongolia, got on the train at the Urquinaona station on Line 1, according to sources close to the case. During the journey, he was punched several times by a young blond man, who had been identified by the Mossos d’Esquadra police and was being sought on Monday morning.
The violent episode ended in the Fabra i Puig station, when the young victim left the train. Until Sunday night, the victim had not come forward to the authorities to file a complaint. The racist attack came to light via a video of the incident, which quickly spread across social-networking sites over the weekend. In the recording, a man is seen attacking the victim, while a number of other passengers attempt to separate them.
The police announced on Sunday night that they were investigating the circumstances of the video, which appeared on YouTube and was distributed on Twitter by a user who appears in his profile picture with a shaved head and his mouth covered by a bandana with neo-Nazi symbols. “I’m not the one in the video, I’m recording,” the Twitter user explained in an online message. “He is a Russian comrade, the Chinese [sic] was insulting us and the Russian shut him up.”
Barcelona City Hall has decided to file charges against the aggressor. “We need to make it understood that intolerance and xenophobia have no place in Barcelona,” explained the deputy mayor and head of Barcelona’s metropolitan transport system, Joaquim Forn.