A homosexual had to be operated on after his jaw was smashed with a hammer in Barcelona. (Provided)
A British homosexual had his jaw smashed with a hammer in an alleged homophobic assault in Barcelona, ââleaving him in need of surgery.
William, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, recently traveled from his hometown of London to Barcelona on an extended trip – but his plans were left in tatters following the brutal assault.
The incident happened at 2 a.m. on Monday morning (July 12). William had met a friend for dinner and they went their separate ways in the early hours of the morning.
He continued walking through Eixample, a district of Barcelona, ââbefore stopping in front of the Axel Hotel, a popular gay establishment in the city.
William stretched out briefly on a concrete bench outside the hotel where he ordered a cab back to his accommodation. He texted friends while he waited, using his backpack as a pillow.
Out of nowhere, William felt an “extremely strong punch” to the side of his face. He jumped up and turned to see two middle-aged men, one of whom was wielding a hammer.
As the men approached, William began to cry out for help.
âThere was a lot of blood coming out of my face and I could feel my mouth being destroyed,â William said. RoseNews.
“At that point, I really feared for my life and felt that this might be the end.”
William was barely able to move his mouth – he would later learn that his jaw was broken when the abuser smashed the hammer into his face – but he shouted for help as loud as he could.
His screams scared the men, William thinks. They grabbed his backpack and fled, leaving him “in shock, bleeding, still processing and trying to figure out why” he had been targeted.
Victim believes Barcelona thugs targeted him because of his sexuality
He then went to the door of the Axel Hotel and reported to the receptionist that he needed help. Local police eventually took him to hospital after an ambulance failed to show up.
William underwent reconstructive jaw surgery Thursday July 15 at a Barcelona hospital and filed a report with police about the incident.
However, he was disappointed with the response from law enforcement authorities in the region. A spokesperson for the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police, confirmed RoseNews that the attack is being investigated as a “robbery with violence” and that no arrests have been made – but William is adamant he was targeted because of his sexuality.
On Thursday, he told police in an email that the attack was motivated by homophobia.
“Even if you look at it on the logical side of things, who approaches another person and the first thing you do is smash a hammer in their face without even knowing they were there?” Guillaume said RoseNews.
He doesn’t remember if the men used homophobic slurs during the attack – he was left in shock after being hit with the hammer, meaning he couldn’t process anything the men said.
âI want to make one thing clear, I have no doubt that I was the victim of a hate crime, a homophobic attack,â William said.
âThey didn’t smash my face with a hammer because they wanted to rob me. They could have stolen anything they wanted in different ways without smashing my face with a hammer.
âI was lying there in a very vulnerable position with my phone in my hands and all my things easily accessible. If they wanted to steal them, they would have done it easily.
William said he was “extremely frustrated” that police were investigating the incident as a robbery rather than a hate crime.
Despite the traumatic ordeal, William feels “lucky” to be alive – he is keenly aware that the attackers could have killed him.
He talks about the shocking attack because he feels obligated to do so.
âIt must stop – starting with the police denying and turning a blind eye to it. I’m not the only one – I’m sure hundreds of people every day, all over the world, suffer from similar or even worse things than what I just experienced.
William’s ordeal comes after a series of shocking homophobic incidents in Spain in recent months.
The country’s LGBT + community took to the streets to protest after the death of Samuel Luiz, who died following a brutal beating at the hands of a dozen men on July 3.
In May, the Observatory Against Homophobia (OCH) said five gay men were injured in Barcelona in three separate homophobic incidents in just days.
One of those attacks left a man in need of facial surgery after he and his friends were assaulted on a beach.