Here we go again. Another U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico for crossing the border with weapons in his vehicle.
His excuse? In an interview Sunday with the San Diego Union Tribune, Marine Reserve Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, an active Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Afghanistan said he was going to meet friends in the border town of San Ysidro when he missed his exit and ended up in Mexico after not being able to turn around.
“I was going to call them after I drove off the exit, but I never got off the exit, I blew right past it,” he told the newspaper in an interview from jail. “I wasn’t paying attention, thinking I had way farther to go. I ended up in Mexico with no way to turn around.”
HE WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION? HE BLEW RIGHT PAST THE EXIT? HE HAD NO WAY TO TURN AROUND?
In an interview with UT-San Diego TV, he acknowledges crossing the border and telling the Mexican Customs agents he had three guns in the car and was surprised when he found himself surrounded by 20 or so heavily armed Mexican soldiers who denied his request to let him go home and took him into custody.
Tahmooressi was charged with multiple violations of Mexico’s strict weapons law, include possession of two firearms meant for exclusive use of the Mexican military; bail is not permitted. If convicted, he faces six to 21 years in a Mexican prison, said his Tijuana attorneys.
“I never meant to be in Mexico,” Tahmooressi said in an interview Saturday afternoon at the La Mesa State Penitentiary. “I had no bad intentions, I had no intentions of smuggling my weapons, I had no intentions of selling them or anything of the sort. I just want to go home.”
MEDIA & SOCIAL MEDIA BLOWING THIS STORY ALL OUT OF PROPORTION
As is common when an American breaks the law in Mexico, there are elements of our society that are quick to take to the streets, the airways and social media and denounce Mexico for having the audacity to enforce their laws as they’re permitted to do as a sovereign nation.
This afternoon, hundreds of protesters brought together with social media and news reports gathered in front of the Mexican Consulate to DEMAND, not ask politely, but DEMAND, Tahmooressi’s immediate release.
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Congress Critter who never misses and opportunity to slam and berate Mexico and it’s citizens, sent a letter Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to secure the release of Tahmooressi saying the vet had just moved to San Diego from Florida and had all his belongings in his truck, including his pistol, shotgun and rifle, when he missed the last U.S. exit on April 1, forcing him to cross the border.
Road closures because of checkpoints and construction added to the confusion, and there was no opportunity for drivers to turn around, Hunter added. That’s the same excuse Jabin “Wrong Way” Bogan used when he crossed into Cd. Juarez last year with 250,000 rounds of NATO grade ammunition in his trailer. There is always a way and a place to turn around before you cross the border into Mexico.
PARALLELS EXIST BETWEEN THIS CASE AND OTHERS IN THE FORM OF EXCUSES AND RATIONALIZATIONS
Other than the case of Jabin Bogan who was not ex-military, the Tahmooressi case as it’s developing has eerie similarities to another recent case of a former Marine arrested for taking weapons into Mexico.
Jon Hammar Jr, 27, a Marine combat veteran was arrested in 2012 after crossing into Mexico from Brownsville Texas. His excuse? The US Customs and Border Protection officers gave him permission to take his antique shotgun into Mexico.
Jon Hammer supposedly suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) . Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill Tahmooressi says her son was recently diagnosed with the same and further suffers from “directional awareness”, offering that as an excuse for his not paying attention to where he was at.
John Hammer was chained to his bunk in the Matamoros jail where he was being held, but his cell door was always open, which was the reason for the chains.
Tahmooressi, shortly after being placed in La Mesa Prison in Tijuana, tried to escape by scaling a building to the roof, only stopping when guards opened fire. After that, he was chained to a bed in his cell.
He later tried to commit suicide with a broken light bulb although some “conservative” blogs are reporting he was recovering from a knife wound. Tahmooressi has since had his restraints removed and is not considered a threat to himself or others.
His mother, Jill Tahmooressi visited him April 14, and he told her he initially was threatened by other detainees, though he did not explain the neck wound. He told her he had been placed in solitary confinement briefly. He called her Sunday and told her has been chained to a cot.
Representative Hunter claims in his interview with reporters it was a knife wound, since been debunked.
Both Hammer and Tahmooressi were originally from Florida
Both Hammer and Tahmooressi’s parent went to social media to stir the pot and arouse those amongst us who seem to think and American should be immune from complying with another countries laws.
According to Tahmooressi’s mother Jill in an interview today, more than 100,000 signatures have been gathered on a petition DEMANDING President Obama demand the release of her son.
State Department officials said they were aware of an arrest of a U.S. citizen in Mexico, but they do not comment on arrests of private individuals without the person’s permission.
I’ll end this with a comment from CBS.com which reported on the story and this comment from a readers pretty much sums it up:
Stabbed himself in the neck? Tried to escape? There is NOTHING “innocent” about this guy. Mentally unbalanced maybe and obviously not too bright, but not innocent. Welcome to your “new life” out west. Should’ve stayed in Florida.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.