We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Olympiakos' Alan Pulido, left, fights for the ball with Anderlecht's Alexander Buttner during a Europa League match in February. AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, file
The Great Escape

Mexican footballer beat his kidnapper up in order to free himself

He threatened and beat his captor while on the phone, demanding to be told where they were.

CAUGHT IN A real-life win-or-lose challenge, Mexican footballer Alan Pulido overpowered a kidnapper, freed himself and then called police for help.

The story shows how dangerous Pulido’s home state of Tamaulipas is. Stretching south from Mexico’s border with southern Texas, Tamaulipas has long been plagued by warring drug cartels and ineffectual police.

Indeed, Pulido’s biggest worry was that police officers sent to his rescue might shoot him.

“He is asking that we tell the police that the caller is alone, with the kidnapper, don’t confuse him with the kidnapper,” according to a police report describing his 911 call obtained by The Associated Press.

“They are shooting into the house, don’t get him by accident.”

Pulido had been abducted late on Saturday by four gunmen, then about 24 hours later he found himself alone with one of his captors and saw his chance.

Listed at 5-foot-9 and about 68 kilos, Pulido wrestled away the man’s pistol, beat him into submission and used his phone to call Mexico’s emergency number.

Alan Pulido, Egidio Torre Cantu Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido, left, stands next to Tamaulipas State Governor Egidio Torre Cantu. AP Photo / Alfredo Pena AP Photo / Alfredo Pena / Alfredo Pena

The 25-year-old, who is a forward for Olympiakos in the Greek league and has played for Mexico’s national team, was in a locked house and didn’t know where he was in the Tamaulipas capital city, Ciudad Victoria. So he threatened and beat his captor while on the phone, demanding to be told where they were.

During his first call, Pulido peered out of a window and described the white two-story house with two cars, grey and red, parked in front.

In the next call, Pulido told the operator that state police had arrived outside. The operator told him to fire the pistol so they would know they were in the right spot, but Pulido said he had no bullets. He said police themselves were starting to shoot and described his shorts and tank top so they wouldn’t confuse him with the now-unconscious captor.

Once police arrived, Pulido made a third call to confirm with the operator that they were trustworthy.

The abductors grabbed Pulido as he was returning from a party about 11.30pm on Saturday. His girlfriend was not taken and alerted others. Pulido’s family received the first ransom call around 1.30pm on Sunday and a second one a short time later, Quintanilla said.

Pulido, who hurt his hand breaking a window, made a brief appearance before reporters, but responded only to a question about how he was: “Very well, thank God.”

Read: Olympiakos footballer rescued after being kidnapped in Mexico

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Associated Foreign Press
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.