Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Flying the flag

National and Local police in Benidorm had to be reinforced with National police officers from Alicante when hundreds of Glasgow Rangers fans who had arrived in Spain for the Rangers-Vilareal Champions League match went on the rampage. Around 700 fans had gathered in the popular Costa resort before the match in bars in and around Calle Mallorca. At around 01.00 they spilled out onto the streets and began throwing tables and chairs around. Restaurant and bar owners called in the local police but as they arrived on the scene they were subjected to a barrage of bottles, glasses and other objects.

Realising the situation was fast developing into a serious matter, National Police in riot gear were deployed to the zone. Their arrival fuelled the situation even further with the alcohol-filled mob turning its attention on them.

National Police in Alicante were called on to send reinforcements to help get the mob under control. During the riot, five national and one local policeman were injured and had to be hospitalised. A member of the public was also taken to hospital after he was set upon and beaten.

A police spokesman said that damage to cars and property in the area was substantial.
Following the riot police arrested eight men believed to be the instigators behind the disturbance. All eight were taken to Alicante pending possible charges and an appearance before magistrates.

After being led, down faced into court, the judge ordered that they pay a total of 16,529€ in fines before being allowed to leave the country. In order to ensure the fines were paid, the judge also ordered members of the National Police Force to accompany the fans to their rooms and ensure that the fines were paid.

Meanwhile another football fan was bound over to appear in court after Ramon Martinez, the director of the Hotel President, lodged an official complaint. It would appear that the fans ripped out the taps of one of the bathrooms of the hotel, leading to the entire floor becoming awash, with water seeping to the floors below, causing around 45,000 euros worth of damage.

Taken from the Costa Blanca News and the Leader newspapers

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