The Guardian website reports that a British chalet chef working for Crystal Holidays in the Italian Dolomites was found stripped and unconscious in a carpark last Sunday after being beaten by a wooden railing.
John Harris, 45, from Cornwall, was apparently on his way home after a night out with fellow seasonaires when the attack took place. He was found by police early the next morning wearing only a singlet and suffering hypothermia. He sustained multiple injuries including broken ribs, bruises and a damaged spleen, and is currently recovering in hospital. Italian police have interviewed a local man in connection with the incident.
"Before returning to the UK they organised a barbecue in one of the chalets and then finished off the evening by heading to the Spekkeller, a local bar," explained Marion Telsnig, a spokeswomen for Crystal. "The guys left at 2.30am but John stayed on and now he says he simply doesn't remember what happened next."
The local carabinieri have suggested the incident was sparked by alcohol. "We believe both men were drunk and began to argue inside the bar," said Captain Alessandro Firinu. "In that state you need little to find a motive for fighting, but the alcohol leaves you vulnerable to the cold. The mystery is where Harris's clothes are. The man we are interviewing refuses to say and we have no idea." A second officer said sexual assault was not suspected.
Crystal were quick to point out that this was a "freak incident" and that they have been happily operating in the resort of Canazei for over 15 years. Harris is expected to make a full recovery.