Support our mission

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — A 20-year-old U.S. sailor was arrested early Saturday morning in Rota and accused of going on a rampage against passing motorists and attacking two Spanish patrol officers, according to a Spanish government source.

A motorist called police around 1:30 a.m. reporting a servicemember was in the middle of A-491 near the base punching passing car windows, the government official said on the condition of anonymity. One driver sustained injuries to her face, neck and arms when the sailor punched through the driver’s side window of a Ford Mondeo. Motorists told the Guardia Civil, which is similar to the Highway Patrol in the United States, the sailor was charging after cars “like a bull.”

The Navy offered few details about the incident, but confirmed that the Guardia Civil arrested a sailor from a unit not assigned to the base on drunk and disorderly charges that day and released him to U.S. military police.

Chief Petty Officer Dan Smithyman, a base spokesman, said the sailor was allowed to leave the base by plane and return to his unit, but said he could not give any additional information because the incident is under investigation. Smithyman said he did not know whether the sailor left for the United States or elsewhere.

Guardia Civil patrol officer found the sailor off the road near where he attacked the driver, according to the source, who has seen the official report. The officers reported the sailor’s knuckles were covered with blood.

After officers arrested the sailor and put him in the back seat of the squad car, the servicemember allegedly attacked the driver as she drove. Then, the sailor turned on the officer sitting in the passenger seat, the source said. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a truck stopped at a crossroad.

The officers called for back up and it took eight of them to subdue the sailor, according to the source. The sailor was later taken back to the base.

It is unknown whether the sailor will face Spanish criminal charges or be charged by the U.S. Navy.

Typically, if a sailor is accused of an off-base crime under Spanish jurisdiction, he or she can be put on what the Navy calls “legal hold.” Legal hold means a sailor cannot transfer or go on leave outside of Spain without special permission from the command, over and above the normal leave policy, Smithyman said.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up