MADRID — A man who took a dangerous selfie during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, with the half-ton beasts right behind him, is still on the run — but this time from the police.
The thin, bearded man, so-far unidentified, faces a fine of about $4,100 (3,000 euros) under new Pamplona city rules that aim to make the globally famous bull running slightly safer.
The eight consecutive days of running ended on Monday, with a total of 42 people taken to hospital during the week. Among them, eight men who were gored, including three foreigners — American Bill Hillmann, 32, of Chicago, and two Australians, ages 26 and 24, whose names were not immediately released.
The so-called “selfie man” escaped injury on the tumultuous fifth day of the running last Friday, but could have caused harm to himself or others, which is why authorities passed the new rules.
Carrying any device to record video or take pictures is prohibited during the running, because it distracts the runner from trying to stay out of harm’s way, and doing anything that endangers others is considered a serious offense, according to the city’s new rules.
On Spanish state television’s official video of the running, the selfie man is seen toward the end of the 850-meter, or half-mile, course holding a recording device that looks like a phone, high in his right hand.
This is just before the bulls enter the bullring on a downhill slope, and the pace is fast. The man appears on the video at one minute and 56 seconds after the run began, on the right of the street, with the bulls a few steps behind.
At 01:57, he turns his head, left over his shoulder to glance back at the bulls, still holding the camera, and at 01:58 he starts to head for cover on the left side of the street. He dashes across the street in the middle of oncoming runners — somehow not colliding with any of them – and he’s off camera by 01:59, the video shows.
Police have not yet found this man, who was wearing a traditional red long-sleeve top and white pants.
The most dangerous day of the running turned out to be the last, on Monday.
A brown bull became separated from the pack on a well-known curve, not quite halfway in to the course, and caused havoc.
There were just five injuries by goring in the previous seven days, but on the final day, there were three more gorings.
These included the two Australian men, with the 26-year-old listed in serious condition with three separate goring wounds, and the 24-year-old receiving a goring to his right thigh; and a 21-year-old Spanish man who was also gored three times.
Hillmann, of Chicago, who was gored on the third day of the running in his right thigh, had just co-authored a book, entitled: “Fiesta, How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona.”
Other contributors to the book include John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway, who brought global fame to the ancient tradition though his 1920s novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” also published under the title, “Fiesta.”
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