Relative Implicated and arrested in Pulido kidnapping

Relative arrested in kidnapping of Mexican soccer star.

Police investigating the weekend kidnapping of Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido arrested a relative of Pulido’s who is believed to have masterminded the striker’s capture.

Osvaldo Velazquez was arrested Tuesday following a gun battle at a house in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northern border state of Tamaulipas. State Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla said that when police approached, Velazquez opened fire and was wounded in the shoulder and neck when the officers shot back.

Velazquez is married to a cousin of Pulido’s and may belong to a drug and kidnap gang, Quintanilla said. None of the police were injured, and Velazquez’s wounds were not life-threatening.

Alan Pulido, a 25-year-old forward with Olympiakos in the Greek league, was abducted late Saturday by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfriend near Ciudad Victoria.

The kidnappers had demanded 6 million pesos ($325,000) from Pulido’s family for his safe return, but the athlete overpowered and beat one of his captors so badly that he had to be hospitalized. That suspect, identified as Daniel Morales, gave police enough information to find Velazquez.

In an interview Tuesday on Imagen Radio, Alan Pulido’s brother, Armando, said that minutes before he learned his brother had escaped, a kidnapper had warned that Alan Pulido would be dead by the following day if the family did not come up with the money.

“We’ve always gone around very relaxed, without security, without anything, and for that reason, the truth is we could never imagine, we never imagined something of this magnitude,” Armando Pulido said.

He said his brother was in good shape and resting.

Armando Pulido, who was at the same party his brother had attended, found out within minutes of Alan’s departure that he had been kidnapped.

The first ransom demand came early Sunday afternoon to a relative. From then on Armando Pulido handled the negotiations. When the kidnappers demanded 6 million pesos, “I responded that it was impossible,” he said.

He received a number of calls as the kidnappers grew more desperate. He kept telling them he could not get that kind of money.

On the last call around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Armando Pulido told the kidnapper to call him back the next day and he would see how much money he could gather by then.

“No, in the morning you’re going to find him dead,” he said he was told.

Minutes later someone from the anti-kidnapping unit called to say that his brother had escaped.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Soccer Star Alan Pulido Fought Kidnapper and Called Police

It sounds like a scene from a movie. We rejoice that he is safe. Now that more is known about his escape i sounds like an action thriller.

All that Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido said to the press during his initial appearance following his kidnapping ordeal was, “I’m Fine, thank God.” Yet authorities described Pulido’s quick actions which led to his safe return home.

The Mexican soccer star, who plays for the Greek team Olimpiakos, was kidnapped Saturday night after leaving a party with his girlfriend in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It did not happen far from an area that includes police headquarters, according to Telemundo reporter Agustín Olais.

Pulido’s kidnappers let his girlfriend go, and she alerted his family that the 25-year-old soccer player had been taken. The family later received a phone call from the abductors asking for money and the authorities began an intense manhunt in the area.

The next day, according to authorities, Pulido saw an opportunity when he was left alone with one of the kidnappers. Pulido overtook him in a fight and grabbed his cell phone and gun away; he then used the cell to call for help. He told authorities where he was and described the house, also telling them what he was wearing so he wouldn’t be shot and confused for a kidnapper.

After he was safe, Pulido posted on Twitter; “muchas gracias a todos por su oracion;” thanks to all of you for your prayers.

In Mexico, news of his kidnapping and rescue was met with a mixture of relief as well as some cynicism for how the events unfolded. In an opinion piece in “El Universal,” journalist Ciro Lopez Leyva said that the state of Tamaulipas will hold elections next week, and that it looked like Alan Pulido “was more valuable alive than kidnapped.”

Tamaulipas was the state with the most kidnappings in Mexico; there were 230 reported in 2015 and 40 in 2016.

Pulido is a forward for Olympiakos and was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team.

Additional reporting from Telemundo’s Agustín Olais and the Associated Press.


Kidnapped Mexican Football Star rescued

Kidnapped Mexican Soccer Star Alan Pulido Found, Rescued Safely.

Kidnapped Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido was found and rescued safely by police, according to authorities in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

Pulido, 25, was kidnapped over the weekend by armed men after he left a party in his hometown of Ciudad Victoria in northern Mexico, officials said.

Mexican Soccer Star Alan Pulido Taken by Armed Men After a Party in His Hometown, Official Says

The rescue happened shortly before midnight involving federal and state forces, the Tamaulipas Coordination Group said in a statement released early this morning.

Pulido also received a medical evaluation, the statement said.

Gov. Egidio Torre Cantú visited the player to make sure he was OK and congratulated police for the successful operation, the statement added.

Pulido is a forward for Olympiakos of Greece. He was a member of Mexico’s World Cup team in 2014.

The Greek team tweeted this morning that Pulido was with his family “safe” and “healthy.”

Detail, including a potential motive, are still unclear.

Ruben Dario of the Tamaulipas state attorney general’s office did not elaborate on the investigation, telling ABC News the family has requested privacy.