22-year-old severely beaten after being mistaken for a thiefTuesday, April 1, 2014
More episodes reported in Rosario, Río Negro
Two new cases of lynching were reported yesterday amid a tense context in several of the country’s largest cities, as reports grew of citizens taking justice into their own hands.
On Saturday, a group of armed residents brutally attacked two people in Rosario after they mistook them for robbers. Both victims ran for their lives and tried to find shelter at a local gas station.
According to local media reports, 22-year-old Oscar Bonaldi and 24-year-old Leonardo Medina were on their way to work in the western end of the city, riding a motorbike, when a group of car-service drivers who had just been robbed began chasing them.
“We ran to a gas station at the intersection of Perú and Montevideo streets, but unfortunately my friend couldn’t make it and was terribly beaten,” Medina told radio station Cadena 3.
“I entered the gas station and told (the employees): ‘Call the police, my motorbike’s been stolen.’ Workers later told me they thought we had robbed the ‘remise’ company,” Medina added.
The men beat Bonaldi so badly his face was disfigured. The case has been filed at the local police precinct No. 14.
One day later, a group of people from the House Vial neighbourhood in the city of General Roca, Río Negro, attacked a young man who was apparently caught while trying to break into a house, police sources said.
Owners caught the 20-year-old as he tried to enter their house. When the alleged thief began running, the head of household began chasing him down Pilcomayo street. Residents subdued the man and began to beat him repeatedly until the police arrived.
The man was treated for his injuries at the López Lima hospital and then placed under arrest.
“We’re witnessing unusual levels of violence. This kind of sovereign citizen violence, of injuries of citizens against one another, is really worrying,” general prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz told reporters yesterday.
Herald staff with Télam