Marine reveals details about time behind bars, escape attempt - KMSP-TV

Marine reveals details about time behind bars, escape attempt

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Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon will head to Mexico to meet with a U.S. Marine jailed on gun charges.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi says he made a wrong turn driving near San Diego and wound up in Mexico.  Now he's revealing details about his time behind bars, including an escape attempt.

Sgt. Tahmooressi says he drove into Mexico with three guns in his pickup truck.  He says he didn't mean to go to Mexico, but got lost and took a wrong turn.

The Marine was arrested for weapons possession and remains imprisoned in a Mexican jail.  He talked about his turmoil over the phone.

"I was afraid for my family because I thought, you know, these guys, they wanted to harm me and that they were talking to the guards and that they were going to try to get information from the guards about the whereabouts of where my family was, so I was yelling to the guard, mi familia is in danger," he said.

The Marine describes the punishment he received after he says he tried to escape.

"I was punched in the stomach a few times to the point where I couldn't breathe. I was gasping for air. I was struck in the face a bunch of times with an open palm slaps."

Sgt. Tahmooressi's mother, Jill, says her son has received death threats in prison and was also threatened with rape.

"My jaw.. I got slapped on one side of my jaw, maybe like 10 times in a row," he said.

The Marine's mother says she's told him to just tell the truth.

"I was forced to be on my knees with my face pushed up against the fence, hard up against the fence, and my feet were stepped on," he said.

The sergeant's family members are also expected to hold a rally outside Senator John McCain's office on May 31 in Phoenix, starting at 8 a.m.

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