A British owner of a house in Spain was brutally attacked by squatters who allegedly took his Spanish at home while in the UK, according to European news reports.
Identified only as Michael, the 52-year-old British man allegedly flew from his home in Liverpool to a holiday home in Spain’s Costa del Sol region last month after neighbors alerted him that squatters had taken over of his property, according to Euro Weekly. News.
“They called him and asked if he had rented his apartment. He replied no, then they explained to him that there were people living there, so he said that he was going to take a plane and he came to see what was happening, ”a spokeswoman for the residential complex told the Spanish outlet El Confidencial.
Michael arrived at his Spanish home and confronted the squatters, but was met with hostility as the suspects allegedly hit him with a bottle.
The man suffered cuts to his face, back and other parts of his body, according to news reports and photos circulating online.
“We told him we were going with him, but he told us not to worry, that he would go alone,” an unidentified neighbor told El Confidencial.
“Several people hit him. They attacked him with a bottle and cut him with glass,” added the unidentified neighbor. “On his back, for example, he had a 10 cm wound. A little more and they would have killed him,” they stressed.
Local authorities responded to the incident, which took place on May 30, and told Michael to “file a complaint” about the squatters, the outlet reported.
Michael filed a complaint and recounted in his testimony that when he arrived at his Spanish vacation homehe was unable to open the front door with his key due to the locks being changed.
He reportedly noticed that there was an open window in the house, climbed onto a balcony, and entered the house through the window.
Once inside, he found three men inside and questioned why they were there, “to which the neighbors of the house responded violently by starting an attack.
“One of them broke a bottle with which he struck the complainant several times on the body and head while he was struggling,” according to his testimony.
Michael described the men as “presumably of Moroccan nationality,” according to Euro Weekly News.
Michael was treated at a local hospital for his injuries and released the day after the attack, the outlet reported.
Local police arrested the men on June 8, according to Spanish outlet Murcia Today, and they were detained on suspicion of drug trafficking, electrical fraud and furniture theft.
The case is ongoing, according to the outlet, and Michael returned to Liverpool days after the attack.
Squatting problems in Spain have intensified, according to Murcia Today, with locals describing current laws favoring squatters over legal owners.
Squatting has also been a problem in the United States, as homeowners across the country have reported lengthy legal battles to evict people living in their residences illegally.
Pandemic eviction moratoriums have also fanned the flames on that issue, an earlier report by Fox News Digital found.