Abducted Mexican soccer player rescued in dramatic operation
CIUDAD VICTORIA: Mexican authorities rescued kidnapped soccer player Alan Pulido after he was able to dial an emergency phone number and alert authorities to his location, a state prosecutor said Monday.
Tamaulipas state Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla said in a news conference that a bungle by the kidnappers led to the speedy rescue of Pulido, a 25-year-old forward for the Greek club Olympiakos and national club veteran. “After midnight Sunday, a 066 call was received from the soccer player Alan Pulido himself in a careless act by his captors.... He was able to make a call and ask for help, providing his location,” Quintanilla said.
Pulido was nabbed by four armed people on a highway returning from a party at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Pulido’s family received the first ransom call around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Quintanilla said.
Authorities found him in safe house in the southern part of Ciudad Victoria, his hometown, and one of his captors was arrested. Quintanilla said the army, federal and state police participated. The suspect was 38-year-old from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, who Quintanilla said was a member of one of the criminal organizations operating in the city.
Following his rescue, Pulido was taken for medical and psychological review and then provided a statement to investigators.
Shortly after his rescue, Pulido appeared outside state police offices wearing shorts and a tank top with a bandaged right hand alongside Tamaulipas Gov. Egidio Torre Cantu. When reporters asked him how he was, Pulido replied: “Very well, thank God.”
“The most important thing is that he is here. He is with us,” Torre Cantu said.