The family of a troubled Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Afghanistan is hoping public pressure will get him out of a Mexican prison, where he’s being held after accidentally crossing the border with personal weapons in his vehicle.
According to numerous media reports, South Florida native Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, mistakenly entered Mexico from San Ysidro, Calif., on April 1 while looking for a place to live in the San Diego area. He is receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at a nearby
Veterans Affairs facility.
In Tahmooressi’s pickup truck were all his belongings, including three guns registered to him.
While the weapons are legal in the United States, they are banned in Mexico.
The reservist was thrown into prison, and that’s where his troubles really began, McClatchy reported. About four nights into his stay, he managed to call his mother in Weston, Fla.
“He said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to make it through the night, I’m gonna be killed tonight. Whatever you do, don’t come down here to ask questions,’” Jill Tahmooressi told NBC News.
Threatened with death by other inmates, Tahmooressi told his mother he tried to escape into a safer part of the prison, according to ABC News.
He then tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the neck, according to McClatchy. He is being held in a prison infirmary, shackled at his arms and legs.
Tahmooressi is set for trial May 28. Until then, his mother is collecting signatures to demand his release on a WhiteHouse.gov petition and a Facebook page has been set up on his behalf.
U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., are looking into Tahmooressi’s case, according to news reports. The U.S. Consulate has presented the presiding judge with evidence of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
But Jill Tahmooressi hopes the public will come through, too.
“I’m pleading to the American public, to sign the White House petition, so that I can get that 100,000 signatures this month of May,” she told NBC.
Check out this report by ABC News Channel 10 in Fort Lauderdale.
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