Miami traveler attacked by Barcelona street vendors shares ordeal

MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami man is speaking out about the beating he endured while trying to help a woman being attacked by street vendors in Spain.

Jose Bravo said he nearly lost his life in the violent incident that unfolded on the streets of Barcelona, Aug. 1.

“This is my first time in Barcelona and will be my last time in Barcelona,” he said.

Bandaged and back at home, Bravo said he was visiting with his family in the tourist-heavy Las Ramblas area when he spotted a woman being attacked by a group of street vendors and went to help her.

Video captured the moments the vendors turned their attention toward Bravo.

“After I intervened, the group of ‘manteros,’ they started attacking me, and they started attacking me violently,” he said. “They started attacking me with weapons — with belts, with metal objects — and I had to actually flee the attack.”

Bravo said he tried to run away, but the vendors pursued him and continued to beat him.

The victim, who still has a black eye from the incident, showed 7News where he was hit.

“They got a metal object with a spike or something, and they cracked my skull,” he said. “They ripped the skull from back here, all the way to the front, and they severed my artery.”

Bravo spent the night in the hospital.

Police are investigating, but this is not the first time violence has hit this area so popular with tourists.

On Aug. 18, 2017, 13 people were killed and dozens injured when a van tore through crowds in the same spot. Authorities called that incident terrorism.

Still, Bravo said, city leaders aren’t doing enough to keep the streets safe, and American tourists need to know about the potential dangers.

“I want our U.S. embassy to put a travel warning advising of the dangerous situation that is happening in Barcelona, Spain,” he said. “Because I was lucky. I could have died in Barcelona, and the next person might not be so lucky.”

Bravo is hoping to meet with his congressman, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, to discuss the issue.

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