DALLAS, Texas — A pro skateboarder from North Texas is fighting to prove his innocence in Spain after being charged with a crime there -- one that he and his family say he didn't commit.
David DuVall, 23, made a mid-March trip to Barcelona with a friend to better his resume and to film skateboarding trips in an exotic location, according to his father and stepmother.
And, all parties say, the trip was going well for the recent UNT finance graduate from Irving, Texas -- until March 15.
"He actually had this vacation planned for over a year," said Eric DuVall of Van, Texas. "He told me it was paradise, and then I didn't hear from him for four days."
According to his family, that's when DuVall and his friend were arrested.
Officials told DuVall's parents that someone had been attacked near a skatepark in Barcelona, and that authorities had arrested their son for the crime.
The evidence police used to charge DuVall was flimsy, the family says.
"Someone told the police that David had the same color skateboard as the attacker -- so he must have done it," DuVall's father said.
After he was arrested, the family says DuVall spent three nights and four days in jail before being bailed out.
A spokesperson for the criminal courts in Catalonia confirmed DuVall's case with WFAA and said that his passport was stripped as a result of the charges. The Catalonia criminal courts spokesperson said the skateboarder now has to appear daily before a judicial authority in order to stay out of jail.
He also can't leave the country, and must stay in Barcelona while his case moves through the courts.
"I think everyone is still in shock about the situation," his stepmother Cristi DuVall said. "It just knocked us off our feet."
DuVall and his family maintain that the skateboarder is innocent, and that he had nothing to do with the attack.
DuVall's father says the 23-year-old has GPS proof that he was at his short-term rental in Barcelona -- and not at the skatepark in question -- when the attack happened.
According to Duvall's attorney in Barcelona, the victim in the case has even told police that they got the wrong guy -- and confirmed as much through a lineup.
Still, the case remains active, and the DuValls are burning thousands of dollars to extend their son's stay in Spain until a potential trial or dismissal arrives.
They're also paying for their son's food, his attorney and an investigator they've employed to help clear his name.
DuVall's family is raising funds, and is asking for help with that task.
WFAA contacted the U.S. Department of State about DuVall's situation. A spokesperson sent the following statement:
"We are aware of the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Barcelona. We are in touch with the family and providing all appropriate consular assistance. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."
Thankfully, DuVall speaks Spanish and French, so he's not completely in the dark as all this happens.
Still, his family hopes all this disappears and that the 23-year-old can come home soon
"I'll do anything for my son," his father said. "I don't care about anything else. He just needs to come home."