Police in Fuengirola have called for help from their UK counterparts in the hunt for a 45-year-old British national who is wanted in connection with the death of a local resident.
Mario Sauco, 65, was fatally injured on Saturday, 4 August, after being punched in the head by a surprise attacker while on a pedestrian crossing on Calle Víctor de la Serna in Los Boliches. He was just 100 metres from arriving home. The victim was originally from Argentina but had lived for almost 20 years in Spain.
According to witnesses and family members, the man who hit Mario at close to midnight had been following him. Once punched he fell to the floor and the assailant tried to get him up again. But it wasn't possible. He died in hospital on 13 August after ten days in a coma.
The attacker fled the scene and police had only the description of eyewitnesses and a photo from one of their mobile phones to continue their investigations.
After visits to local shops, bars and restaurants, they succeeded in finding out the name of the alleged attacker and learned that he was a Briton who had by then returned to his home country. Investigators also asked a judge to issue an international warrant for the man's arrest.
The family of Mario Sauco continue looking for explanations as to the shock attack. One witness said that the alleged attacker stayed at the scene for several minutes in shock at what he had done. "He was crying and didn't stop regretting it, saying 'I think I've killed a man'."
According to the witness, the reportedly British man explained that Mario had "touched" a 16-year-old girl - who the witness took to mean the assailant's daughter- in a bar, and that he had followed him to punch him.
On hearing this explanation, one bystander supposedly said "run!, run!" ahead of the imminent arrival of the police.
Incident in a bar with a girl
Investigators found the bar and have questioned those who were there. One further version of events is that Mario, who allegedly had been drinking that night, had moved his hand over the shoulder of the teenager niece of the bar's owner, who then asked him to leave. Reports say that the British man wanted by police is a friend of the bar owner's brother and took it upon himself to follow Mario.
Mario's family only found out the next morning that he was in a coma in hospital in Malaga. "My father was a kind man, with a good heart, that gave us life and loved his four grandchildren. We only want this individual to stand up for what he has done and not be a coward who fled," explained Mario's daughter at the time of his death.