A U.S. Marine who has done two tours of Afghanistan has been shackled to his cot in Tijuana's La Mesa penitentiary infirmary while being held on illegal gun charges, according to the McClatchy News Service and other media reports.
The Marine reservist, Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, of Weston, Florida, near Miami, drove through San Ysidro and into Tijuana on April 1 with three firearms, the accounts say. He had apparently taken a wrong turn.
"He is crippled," his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, told Miami TV station WSVN from her Weston, Florida, home.
"He is crippled mentally, he is crippled physically. He's been restrained, four-point restrained in chains."
"Jill said she was jolted awake by her son's phone call on April 1st," the TV station reported.
"'Mom, I got lost. I made a wrong turn and I ended up at a Mexican border,'" said Jill as she related what Andrew said to her. "'I'm telling you this in case anything happens to me. All the Mexican officials are surrounding my truck now. I'll call you back.'"
Tahmooressi allegedly made a ninja-style escape attempt from the prison on April 6, scaling a wall topped with barbed wire.
“I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns, a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 gauge pump shotgun with no intentions on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activity,” McClatchy quoted Tahmooressi as writing in a document for congressman Duncan Hunter.
The news service added that the reservist, who reportedly suffers from "directional dysfunction," took a wrong turn into Mexico while searching for a place to live while undergoing treatment for post traumatic stress disorder at a U.S. Veterans Administration facility.
U.S. officials have regularly visited Tahmooressi since his arrest, as has his mother, McClatchy reported. Jon Hammar, also a Florida Marine, was held for four months in a Mexican jail in shackles until being released in 2012.