Marine jailed in Mexico speaks out
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Now safe at home in South Florida, the former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Mexico is speaking out for the first time.
It took more than four months for Jon Hammar to be released from a rundown Mexican prison.
During a published interview, the former soldier revealed some of the gruesome details during his time behind foreign bars: "They threw every threat in the book at me ... They'd cut my head off, they told my family."
"They were legitimate," said Hammar Sr. "They roughed him up a little bit, and they put him on the phone, and he told us what was going on."
The jail mates believed to be part of a Mexican gang, demanded money to spare Jon Jr. from a horrific death. Hammar said the US Consulate intervened. They contacted Mexican jail officials who then moved Jon Jr. to an isolated area. The rest is history.
It's the latest revelation in the saga of the Marine veteran who spent four months in a Mexican jail after entering the country in August with a gun that he planned to use for hunting. "It's scary beyond belief," said his father. "We thought he was fine on his way to Costa Rica for a good trip and this put a twist in it that you couldn't believe."
His return to the US, just in time for Christmas, was widely covered in the media but Jon Hammar Jr. returned sick, bedridden for days with flu-like symptoms and stomach ailments. He first visited a hospital in Louisiana, then Baptist Hospital in Southwest Miami.
Dr. Tomas Villanueva, treated Hammar and spoke to Fox News. "He did not have access to enough food or water. When we did the examination we also found multiple mosquito bites throughout his entire body. He lost a lot of muscle tone. He lost over 15 pounds, as well. Poor Johnny was in a bad state."
Hammar spent some of his incarceration chained to a bed. Villanueva said he may not have survived for much longer.
Hammar's father said his son seems to be doing well mentally but is still working on eating a regular diet. Despite the mental and physical abuse his son endured in the Mexican jail, his family said he will not pursue legal action. "We're just happy that he's out, and he's safe," said Hammar Sr.
The former Marine is expected to make a full recovery.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)