SPORTS

Suspect charged, confesses to kidnapping Mexican soccer player

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, Olympiakos' Alan Pulido, left, fights for the ball with Anderlecht's Alexander Buttner during the Europa League round of 32 soccer match at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in the port of Piraeus, near Athens. A state official says that Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido has been kidnapped in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. Pulido is a forward for the Greek team Olympiacos and has made several appearances for Mexicos national team, though he wasnt called up for the upcoming Copa America tournament. The official says the 25-year-old player was kidnapped near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria on Sunday, May 29, 2016 after leaving a party. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, file)

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, Olympiakos' Alan Pulido, left, fights for the ball with Anderlecht's Alexander Buttner during the Europa League round of 32 soccer match at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in the port of Piraeus, near Athens. A state official says that Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido has been kidnapped in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. Pulido is a forward for the Greek team Olympiacos and has made several appearances for Mexicos national team, though he wasnt called up for the upcoming Copa America tournament. The official says the 25-year-old player was kidnapped near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria on Sunday, May 29, 2016 after leaving a party. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, file)

The first suspect charged in the kidnapping of Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido has given a statement to prosecutors confessing to the crime.

Prosecutors charged Daniel Morales with kidnapping, vehicle theft and criminal conspiracy. On Thursday, The Associated Press obtained a copy of Morales' initial statement in which he called the abduction botched and poorly planned.

Pulido freed himself and then called police for help after the weekend abduction in Ciudad Victoria, capital of the northern border state of Tamaulipas.

Morales said Pulido initially overpowered another kidnapper, who fled. Then, armed with the first kidnapper's gun, Pulido shot at Morales, beat him and forced him to hand over his cellphone so he could call police.

In the statement, Morales said, "He told me to put my hands up or he would kill me. I did it, and he began to hit me and called police on my phone."

More On This...

But Pulido didn't know where he was being held, so on the call to police he can be heard beating the kidnapper, demanding to know their location.

However, Morales said he was also unfamiliar with the house and had joined the gang only after being given a phone number while in prison. He said he had been told to call the number if he wanted "to work with organized crime."

Morales said he contacted the gang after leaving prison and had participated in its activities only by transporting money and food for kidnap victims before the Pulido abduction.

The kidnappers had demanded $325,000 (6 million pesos) from Pulido's family for the safe return of the player, who is a forward for Olympiakos in the Greek league and has played for Mexico's national team.

Authorities allege that the mastermind of the abduction was Osvaldo Velázquez, the husband of one of the soccer player's cousins.

According to Morales' statement, on the night of the kidnapping, Velázquez called him and others to carry out the abduction but they got lost, so Velázquez had to lead them to a park where Pulido was attending a party. Velázquez phoned them when Pulido was leaving the party and described his vehicle. The kidnappers then snatched Pulido and his girlfriend, who they quickly released.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram