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The 79-year-old vandal who terrorized a Spanish neighborhood

The man was arrested in Vigo after scratching more than 100 cars and causing damage to numerous buildings and locks

Posters in the streets of Vigo with the face of the vandal.
Posters in the streets of Vigo with the face of the vandal. ATLAS

Police officers have managed to arrest a man who has been vandalizing and terrorizing the neighborhood of O Calvario, in Vigo, northern Spain, for several months. The vandal, an aggressive senior citizen, is alleged to have scratched more than 100 parked vehicles in January, also causing damage to a number of buildings and car locks.

The man was arrested on Sunday when one of his victims caught him in the act of scratching his car with a set of keys. An emergency call alerted police to the fact that two men were fighting on Urzáiz street. When officers arrived, they found a man detaining a senior who was visibly trying to escape. The owner of the damaged vehicle, who was bleeding from the nose, told officers he surprised the vandal in the act of scratching his car and sticking a toothpick in its lock so that the door couldn’t be opened.

Since the first day of the new year, the vandal damaged more than 120 cars, assaulted three neighbors and was reported 12 times for assault and vandalism

When the owner of the vehicle tried to stop him, the vandal became aggressive and punched him in the face, breaking the man’s glasses. Shortly after, another resident of the area called police officers to tell them that the old man fighting on the street resembled the one who had damaged the lock on his building’s gate. The police discovered that in addition to the car that the vandal was caught damaging, six other vehicles had been keyed and a number of locks had toothpicks stuck in them.

When officers accessed his criminal record, they discovered that the vandal was 79 years old, had damaged more than 120 cars, had assaulted three neighbors and been reported 12 times for assault and vandalism – all since the first day of the new year.

According to the Citizen Security Brigade of the Vigo Police Station, the old man has “terrorized the neighborhood,” not only because of the damage he inflicted on cars, but also because he usually attacked people with two weapons: a cane or an umbrella. In addition, the vandal was hospitalized in a mental health center last year after one of his attacks on a neighbor, but was not diagnosed with a psychological disorder. According to Galicia daily La Voz, he was discharged after three days when doctors told him he didn’t need treatment and that he was “mentally sane and his speech coherent.”

English version by Asia London Palomba.

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