Monday, three in the afternoon. Barcelona. An operator works on the door of a house in Sant Andreu. He blocks access to an official protection flat. The tenant has been evicted and the lock has been authorized. Nothing suggests that, in a few moments, the occupant will appear, confront the worker, reach the balcony on the fourth floor and jump into the void to end his life.
The events took place at number 23 of Sèquia Madriguera street, in the Bon Pastor neighborhood. As reported by 'El Periódico' on Monday, Alberto, 55, returned to his home at noon and met the locksmith, whom he threatened with a stick and barricaded himself in the house, accumulating objects on the door.
Later, he went out onto the balcony, climbed onto a chair and spent several minutes leaning out, threatening to throw himself.
The neighbors sounded the alarm and notified the police and the emergency services, who arrived at the scene in a few minutes. Meanwhile, a neighbor asked Alberto from the street to come down, that she only wanted to help him. When the Urban Police arrived, he threatened to jump if they did not leave, he shouted that if they entered the house he would throw himself. Then, according to several witnesses, the man fell on his back before the firefighters had time to unfold the tarp to cushion the impact.
The Councilor for Housing, Lucía Martín, appeared before the press on Tuesday and explained that Alberto was not the legal owner of the house, that the previous tenant was his mother and that she died in 2018. At that time, the council began to detect non-payments and visits began to assess the situation and seek solutions such as regularization, aid for housing payments or relocation, among others.
The City Council made the eviction request in February 2020, after receiving several complaints of fraudulent use of the home. Alberto had rented a room to a couple with whom he had constant fights that disturbed the neighborhood coexistence. In fact, this Sunday a patrol from the Guardia Urbana went to the house when someone reported that they were fighting.
However, the eviction date was set for May 12, the day on which, according to Lucía Martín, the municipal services found Alberto "very nervous and excited." The delivery of the keys was agreed upon after 15 days, and he was offered "social services and follow-up resources"', which Alberto rejected.
The councilor insisted at the press conference that this request for eviction is "exceptional", that it occurred after a repeated refusal by this man to provide information to municipal services and that "in no case was non-payment a factor of importance" .