Quito, Ecuador: Tourist recalls being mugged by huggers using pepper spray

Posted on August 4, 2016 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

Chris Bodenner/theatlantic.com
Back in 2008, after completing college, I went on a backpacking trip through South America. Best time I ever had.

But it didn’t end well. I was in Quito, Ecuador, and I returned late to my youth hostel after getting lost. I’m a rather huge fellow, so I wasn’t much nervous about it. While standing outside the place waiting for the receptionist to wake up, two ladies approached me—and wrapped themselves around me.

They did so not because of my immense allure, but rather to pickpocket me. After I felt my phone leave my pocket, I caught a hold of one of the señoras demanding it back. She took out a can of pepper spray and gave me a long extended blast to my face.

So, I lost my phone. And my eyes were melting. I inhaled quite a bit of the spray, so my airway was burning. I was screaming.

It didn’t end there. While stumbling around screaming and crying, I tripped over something and broke my ankle. And to cap it all, I had an allergic reaction and spent some time in a not-so-lovely hospital. As a result, I missed my flight home. And upon coming back, I discovered that my insurance claim was denied. My family still thought I was the one at fault.

I still love Ecuador though. Been there twice since. Read Article in the atlantic


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