Skip to comments.Abduction thwarted[one kidnapper believed to have escaped across Rio Grande to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico]
Posted on 12/07/2007 8:59:20 AM PST by SwinneySwitch
An El Cenizo man kidnapped at gunpoint Wednesday evening is safe.Authorities have two of the men they believe were responsible for the crime in custody, said Tessie Medina, a spokeswoman for the Webb County Sheriff's Department.
A family member of the victim called 9-1-1 at about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday to report the kidnapping, just after it happened.
The caller told authorities that the kidnappers had threatened violence if the family contacted police, Medina said.
"They feared for the victim's life," Medina said.
Sheriff's deputies, along with Border Patrol agents and Texas Rangers, discreetly set up surveillance around the neighborhood. While the officers were getting into place, the family of the victim gave two cars to the kidnappers to meet the ransom demands, Medina said.
A few minutes later, Sheriff's deputies spotted a black Mitsubishi Lancer that fit the family's description of one of the vehicles given to the kidnappers, Medina said. An officer pulled the car over and arrested the 15-year-old driver.
Shortly after that, officers spotted a red Ford Mustang, the other vehicle that was reported ransomed. The driver sped away and, after a high-speed chase, abandoned the car in brush near the Rio Grande and escaped, Medina said.
The driver, later identified by authorities as Jose Santos Puente Madrigal, 33, is thought to have fled to Nuevo Laredo, Medina said.
Sometime after the family gave up the cars, the victim was released near his home, handcuffed and badly beaten, Medina said.
He was taken to Laredo Medical Center with injuries including a large gash on the back of his head, cuts to the elbow and several cuts on his body, she said.
The victim was on his way to the hospital by about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, just about an hour after his family reported the kidnapping, Medina said.
Authorities did not identify the victim, and said only that he was a Hispanic adult. He has since been released from the hospital.
In order to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation, authorities would not say where the victim was held during the kidnapping, but said it was in El Cenizo.
The juvenile was taken to the Webb County Juvenile Detention Center, where he is being held on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery, engaging in organized criminal activity and theft of a motor vehicle.
Another man, Wenceslao Puente, was arrested at his residence on charges of assault causing bodily injury and engaging in organized criminal activity. Authorities did not specify what role they believe Puente played in the kidnapping, reportedly to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.
He was taken to the Webb County Jail with bond set at $30,000.
Madrigal, the accused driver who escaped, is wanted on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery, engaging in organized criminal activity and theft of a motor vehicle.
It is unusual for law enforcement to interrupt a kidnapping in progress, said Maj. Doyle Holdridge, the investigator working the case.
They were able to make arrests quickly Wednesday night because the family called 9-1-1 right away, he said.
"Luckily, the family made the decision to call rapidly enough that we could get some people in place to make some arrests," he said. "A lot of times, by the time they make the decision to call us, we're so far behind the curve it gives the kidnappers time to escape."
From a law enforcement perspective, a quick call to police is the best course of action for someone whose family member has been kidnapped, Holdridge said. But, when it actually happens, and kidnappers threaten harm if police are contacted, it can be a tough decision.
"If it was my wife, I would want to be extremely cautious," he said.
(Contact reporter Zachary Franz at 728-2582 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
These kidnappings really concern me, specially since my in-laws are currently driving back to the states from Mexico so that Dad can have cataract surgery. They have been missionaries in southern Mexico since 1959, and make the border crossing every couple of years.
My mother is a truck driver and she won’t spend the night in Laredo unless she’s sure she can get locked inside the terminal lot with security. Her terminal down there is right up against the river.
A few months back I was on the phone with her when she was in Laredo. She held the phone out the window so I could here the firefight going on across the river. When I say firefight, I mean firefight with explosions and everything like a war zone. She said she thought she was seeing occasional tracer rounds ricochet off into the sky.
I just checked with the wife. They usually come across at Brownsville. I am not thinking tht it is any better there. Am I right?
I don’t know about Brownsville but it seems that there’s violence all along the border. Neuvo Laredo seems to be the major hotspot for it though.
Thank you Swinney Switch, for keeping us all up on this, much appreciated.
I am also from Texas and I know where Swinney Switch is!
I wish this would make national news but they seem to want to pretend that either we are not part of America or we deserve anything we get.
A lot of us are aware. I’m a northern border person and we’ve got our problems but getting dragged out of our homes in the middle of the night and dragged across the border isn’t one of them.
Most disgusting is the fact that our own government just couldn’t care less.
Mexico Security Memo: Dec. 3, 2007
Stratfor ^ | December 03, 2007
Posted on 12/03/2007 4:51:27 PM CST by SwinneySwitch
Prompted by a series of attacks along the Mexico-Texas border, Mexican federal police and army troops were sent this past week to five border towns in Tamaulipas state — Matamoros, Rio Bravo, Reynosa, Ciudad Miguel Aleman and Ciudad Mier. In one attack, on Nov. 29, a group of heavily armed men aboard several vehicles killed six men as they were walking out of a business in Rio Bravo, just across the border from Weslaco, Texas. The apparent target of the attack was former Rio Bravo mayor Juan Antonio Guajardo Anzaldua, who was killed along with two federal agents assigned as his bodyguards, a customs official and two other men. The assailants reportedly pulled up just as the men were leaving an afternoon meeting and began firing assault rifles and hurling grenades.
Perhaps what is most remarkable about this incident is the fact that it is so unremarkable. The cartel war in Mexico is now routinely bringing such violent incidents within just a few miles of the United States. Following the attack on the former Rio Bravo mayor, three people were killed in a shooting at a hotel in the town of Matamoros, a few miles east of Rio Bravo and just across the border from Brownsville, Texas. Among the victims was a popular local singer who occasionally sang songs about the cartels. The singer was wounded when she was shot by at least one gunman in her hotel room; a man and a woman in the same room were found dead when police arrived. Although the singer survived the initial attack, she later died when she was reportedly shot multiple times at a hospital where she was being treated.
These border incidents come in the context of an increased tempo of attacks in northeastern Mexico, especially in Monterrey,....
I talked to a guy in the McAllen area this week who was a victim of a home invasion 2 weeks ago. He got beat up pretty bad. He said that when the police came they told him it was the drug cartels fighting each other and that there probably wasn't much they could do. He also said that the word is getting around the Valley that the police are starting to intentionally wait 30 minutes or so before responding to home invasion calls or even kidnappings because they want to get there after the perps are long gone to minimize any risk. Don't know if that's true or not, but that's what people around the Valley are starting to say.
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