Ciudad Victoria (Mexico): Police arrested a second suspect in the kidnapping of Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido, after wounding the man in a gunbattle, the Tamaulipas state prosecutor has said. The kidnappers had demanded USD 325,000 from Pulido’s family for his safe return, but the athlete overpowered and beat one of his captors so badly that he had to be hospitalised.
The first suspect, Daniel Morales, gave police enough information to find the second suspect, Osvaldo Velazquez, at a house in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northern border state. Tamaulipas Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla said yesterday that when police approached, Velazquez opened fire and was wounded in the shoulder and neck when the officers shot back.
None of the police were injured, and Velazquez’s wounds were not life-threatening, Quintanilla said. He said Velazquez is married to a cousin of Pulido’s and may belong to a drug and kidnap gang. Velazquez appeared to have been the mastermind behind the kidnapping, he added. In an interview yesterday on Imagen Radio, Alan Pulido’s brother, Armando Pulido, said that minutes before he learned his brother had escaped, a kidnapper had warned that Alan Pulido would be dead by the following day if the family did not come up with the money. “We’ve always gone around very relaxed, without security, without anything, and for that reason, the truth is we could never imagine, we never imagined something of this magnitude,” Armando Pulido said.
He said his brother was in good shape and resting. Alan Pulido, a 25-year-old forward with Olympiakos in the Greek league, was abducted late Saturday by gunmen after leaving a party near Ciudad Victoria in the border state of Tamaulipas with his girlfriend. His brother was also at the party and found out within minutes of Alan’s departure that he had been kidnapped. He said the family contacted authorities immediately.
The first ransom demand came early Sunday afternoon to a relative. From then on Armando Pulido handled the negotiations. When the kidnappers demanded 6 million pesos, “I responded that it was impossible,” he said. He received a number of calls as the kidnappers grew more desperate. He kept telling them he could not get that kind of money. On the last call around 11:30 PM (local time) on Sunday, Armando Pulido told the kidnapper to call him back the next day and he would see how much money he could gather by then.
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