Kidnapped Mexican striker Pulido escaped by punching captor: official

Mon May 30, 2016 6:49pm EDT
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By Natalie Ann Schachar

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The authorities billed it as a rescue, but Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido escaped his kidnappers by punching the one guarding him, snatching a cellphone and calling for help, a top official in the country's violent northeast said on Monday.

State security forces located Pulido within minutes of his call from a safe house in the restive city of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state, as they were scouring the area nearby, state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla told local radio.

The 25-year-old Mexico national team striker who also plays professionally with the Greek team Olympiakos disappeared in his hometown on Saturday night, when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfriend.

Pulido called Mexico’s emergency services around midnight on Sunday after the fistfight. He then cut his wrist trying to open a locked glass door, Quintanilla said.

"There was an exchange of blows between them," Quintanilla said. "At some point he was able to make a call."

Police have detained the captor, one of least four involved, who belonged to a criminal gang. It was unclear whether they were connected to the feared Zetas drug cartel, which controls much of the state.

In the early hours of Monday, Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu appeared on local television, flanked by Pulido, congratulating security forces for rescuing him.

The player was wearing a multicolored T-shirt and shorts and had a bandage wrapped around his right hand.   Continued...

Mexico's striker Alan Pulido (L) is seen next to Tamaulipas State Governor Egidio Torre Cantu after Pulido has been rescued within a day in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas State, Mexico May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer