MADRID – A man seen sharpening a large knife on the Madrid metro in a video that went viral online was a professional ham cutter going to work, police said on Tuesday.
The footage, which shows a dark-haired, bearded man in a black T-shirt honing a long, thin kitchen blade, was captured by a concerned passenger on Friday, police said.
It was sent to Metro de Madrid, the company that runs the Spanish capital’s underground train network, and was widely shared on social media over the next few days.
An investigation was carried out by the Mobile Brigade of Madrid city police and found that the individual, whose face could not be seen clearly, was a 27-year-old professional ham cutter on his way to work.
It was also discovered that the man had joined the train at Serrano station in one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods.
He then changed line at downtown Alonso Martinez station where he continued to Fuencarral, a street with many late-night food restaurants, stores and entertainment venues.
A police spokesman told EFE that the person in the video worked for a catering company that provided services for special events.
The police source added that the professional was a Spanish national who did not have a criminal record.
He said that while it was not in principle a crime to carry a knife on the metro, an investigation was launched into whether the man’s attitude violated Spain’s Law on Citizen Security.
The video was originally recorded Friday at 11:15 pm.
Metro de Madrid told EFE that it had learned about the incident after a passenger sent the video through Twitter, although the film was originally sent via WhatsApp.
Spanish ham, or jamon, is a gastronomic delicacy that is highly prized at home and now increasingly overseas.
The finest ham is called jamon iberico de bellota which comes from small, dark-skinned free-range pigs that roam oak forests and feed on acorns.
One small organic farm in south-western Spain produces jamon that sells for as much as 4,100 euros ($4,660) a leg and has been acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive ham.