Three photos caused a storm of controversy about the actions of the Local Police in Torrevieja on Monday morning. They show two officers dragging a semi conscious man to a traffic island where some bins are located. The third photo, which was taken from much closer, shows the person in question asleep on the pavement next to the bins. The sequence does not reveal anything to anyone who sees it about why the officers might have been thinking when they took this person and left him by the bins.
COSTA DAILY contacted Local Police sources and one of the officers who took part in this action, who explained that the person is a Ukrainian citizen who habitually does this type of thing. According to their version, they received a call because this person was sleeping in a pool of vomit and faeces with his trousers around his ankles in a doorway, opposite a park where about ten children were playing.
The officers apparently took him to the traffic island as it was the only place where he would be safe until an ambulance arrived that was out of the children’s sight. It seems the time it took for the ambulance to arrive, about 40 minutes, forced the officers to leave him there while they attended to other incidents, but they were contacted by the ambulance crew who told them he would be taken to Torrevieja hospital.
The same officers admitted it is a common enough scene that they can do little about, because if those concerned refuse to go to hospital, they cannot force them unless they suspect their life is in danger. The officers claim there is a lack of protocol to deal with these situations and a lack of resources and equipment for them to intervene, as the municipality has no shelter or other place that is prepared to take these people, who are evidently suffering from serious alcoholism.
The officers who participated in these events admitted that the photos, when taken out of context, do seem scandalous and they themselves would be horrified to see a person “thrown at the side of the bins”, but explained that “if they showed the end of the story, the ambulance picking up this person, it would be seen differently”.
The Mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón assured to COSTA DAILY that an investigation will be opened to clear up what happened and explanations will be given to the public.