Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Mexican baller overpowered kidnappers

Published:Tuesday | May 31, 2016 | 5:00 AM

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP):

About 24 hours after he was kidnapped, Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido found himself alone with one of his captors and saw his chance. He wrestled away the man's pistol and his cellphone and dialled Mexico's emergency number.

Within minutes, he was free.

An official summary report of three calls to an emergency operator obtained by the Associated Press shows that the 25-year-old forward for Olympiakos in the Greek league threatened and beat his captor while on the phone, demanding to be told where they were.

The dramatic account of derring-do shows that Pulido listed at 5-foot-9 (176 centimetres) and about 150 pounds (68 kilograms), was the main actor in his own liberation a contrast with initial official accounts of his rescue by police.

On a first call, with the kidnapper overpowered, Pulido peered out of a window and described the white two-story house with two cars, grey and red, parked in front.

In the next call, Pulido told the operator that state police had arrived outside. The operator told him to fire the pistol so they would know they were in the right spot, but Pulido said he had no bullets. He said police themselves were starting to shoot and described his shorts and tank top so they wouldn't confuse him with the now-unconscious captor.

CARELESS ACT

Once police arrived, he made a third call to confirm with the operator that they were trustworthy.

Tamaulipas state Attorney General, Ismael Quintanilla, told a news conference that emergency services had received the call after midnight Sunday due to "a careless act by his captors".

In a later interview with Imagen Radio, he confirmed that Pulido had forcibly seized the phone from his captor.

"There was an exchange of punches between them," Quintanilla said, though he did not mention the pistol.

Quintanilla said Pulido cut his wrist when he broke a window trying to escape.

Pulido was nabbed by four armed people on a highway while returning from a party at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. His girlfriend, who was not taken, alerted others.

"Everyone began to activate to look for him, especially when we knew who he was, because we knew it was going to make a big ruckus and was going to be affecting us a lot in the press," Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla said the army, federal and state police participated, including three helicopters.

Pulido's family received the first ransom call around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and a second one a short time later, Quintanilla said.

The suspect was 38-year-old from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz who Quintanilla said was a member of one of the criminal organisations operating in the city. He said three other suspects were identified and a search is under way.