Marine Son Jailed in Mexico, Chained to Cot After Getting Lost, Mom Says
A decorated United States Marine with two tours of combat experience has been imprisoned in a Mexican jail for over a month over an apparent mistake.
Marine reservist Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, got lost driving near San Diego, California when he took a wrong turn and accidentally crossed the border. Mexican border guards searched his truck and found three guns he legally purchased in the U.S.
Tahmooressi said he thought the guards would let him turn around and head back to the U.S., but instead he was arrested and has been in jail since April 1st.
On Fox and Friends this morning, his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, recalled getting a phone call from her son around 10 o’clock at night.
“He said, ‘Mom, I got lost. I made a wrong turn. I need you to know I’m at the Mexican border and Mexican officials have surrounded my truck. I need you to know in case anything happens to me.'"
While behind bars, an inmate reportedly threatened to kill him. Tahmooressi’s mother said the threat forced her son to take matters into his own hands. He escaped and was put into a safer part of the jail, but has been chained and strapped to a cot for about 25 days.
Jill said her son is crippled physically and mentally, and feels hopeless about his future.
She said, “I know that the Marine Corps trained him well. And I know that when he was put in that extremely violent situation in the first couple of hours in the La Mesa penitentiary, his life was threatened. And by the grace of God and his courage, he escaped that area and was able to get into a safer part of the jail.”
There was a similar case in 2012, when Jon Hammar was held for four months in a Mexican border prison before pressure from media and lawmakers got him released.
Tahmooressi's family in Florida continues to fight for his release. Meanwhile, the U.S. consulate says it’s doing all it can to ensure his safety.
According to Jill, 10 days before her son was arrested, he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She said he was in Southern California seeking treatment for his condition.
U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she has contacted the State Department about the issue. Her communications director, Sean Bartlett, released a statement Thursday which reads, "The Congresswoman read Ms. Tahmooressi's letter with concern, and instructed her staff to get in touch with the State Department right away to ensure that Andrew's case was being handled as expeditiously as possible. Our office will remain in close contact with the State Department as the trial approaches, and will continue to be of service to the family where we can and when appropriate."
No trial date for Andrew has been set.
Jill said, “I know the Mexican judicial system is boggled down with cases, however, it’s been more than 30 days now. The evidence stands for itself that Andrew did not intend to go into Mexico. I would love to have him home by Mother’s Day.”