French couple “punched and spat on” by security guards in front of children
Incident took place after alarm sounded as family left Torrevieja hypermarket
A French couple has filed a report with the Civil Guard after they were detained and assaulted by two security guards in a hypermarket in Torrevieja (Alicante) while on vacation in Spain. The incident took place, in full view of their two young children, after a security alarm was set off as they left the store.
Their eldest child, aged 13, recorded part of the incident, and the video has since been distributed by the Atlas news agency.
The couple said that the alarm had gone off at several establishments they had visited earlier. When they paid for their items at the cash register at the store in question, the alarm went off once again, and the cashier called the guards. The two security personnel immediately headed for the woman, who is black.
After making all four family members, including their five-year-old child, go through the detector several times, they were then led to a security room, where the woman's purse was violently searched. No stolen items were found.
The woman then told the guards that her family should be released and attempted to walk away, but was then attacked by the pair and handcuffed, the regional daily Información reports. She and her husband were punched and slammed against the wall, as is captured by the eldest child's video, in which the youngest child is heard crying throughout.
The woman also claims that she was spat on, as well as being subject to obscene gestures made by the security personnel.
The couple's injuries were later treated by local emergency services. The family was scheduled to return to France on Thursday.
The incident comes in the midst of plans by the government to grant further powers to private security personnel, such as being able to make arrests in the street, away from the establishments they are being paid to protect.