OTR Interviews

Marine jailed in Mexico: Everything they did to me was out of anger, like 'Screw you, buddy!'

Exclusive: Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi on how guards in the first prison where he was incarcerated retaliated against him, made his ankles bleed with tightened shackles. Plus, how he is coping with PTSD behind bars. #MarineHeldinMexico


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 9, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.




KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, 'ON THE RECORD' GUEST HOST: Well, that's a plea from a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi now behind bars for more than two months since making a wrong turn at the border. He spoke exclusively with Greta.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: What brought you out to California, at least in part, was treatment for post-traumatic stress. And I'm curious, how is that manifesting it now? How are you dealing with that now because you are not in a V.A. facility? You are in a Mexican prison.

TAHMOORESSI: Yeah. Now I'm dealing with it very well, in my opinion. But also I'm in an environment with no other people around me. So I'm all by myself. There's no triggers to bring that out. So, I'm in a good, relaxing environment, a peaceful environment.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you want to get out?

TAHMOORESSI: Oh, yes, definitely. Please get me out of here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Because you say it's peaceful. I can't think, if I were stuck in a Mexican prison, and I have sat outside that prison for two long days, it's not some place I want to be.

TAHMOORESSI: Yeah, I mean, it's peaceful compared to the prison I was at. I compare everything to the worse. And the worst compared to this -- this is -- you know, it doesn't compare to the -- the environment that I was in before, in a small cell with 20 other people. So, compared to my conditions before this, this is a whole lot better and peaceful compared to that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You mentioned earlier, when you and I spoke, I think I got a little bit of the U.S. Marine from you, because you told me the conditions were tough but you were not particularly graphic or descriptive. I have spoken to one of your Marine buddies with whom you have a much closer relationship than you and I do. He tells an absolutely horrible story about the conditions, the terrible things you went through in that first prison.

TAHMOORESSI: Yes, yes. It was horrible. Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Like wrists were bleeding?

TAHMOORESSI: Well, mainly -- wrists were scratched up. They were -- my feet were bleeding. My wrist, yes, actually there was some blood drawn on my wrist but not as bad as my legs. Just like abrasion bleeding and bleeding on the back of my ankle.

VAN SUSTEREN: And is that from the ankle cuffs and the handcuffs? Is that why it was bleeding?


TAHMOORESSI: I'm sorry, the guards are trying to speak with me again.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why were your ankles bleeding?

TAHMOORESSI: They were bleeding because the cuffs on them were tied way too tight as a form of punishment.

VAN SUSTEREN: I was going to say, that was punishment for --


TAHMOORESSI: Yes, it was punishment, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know it was punishment and not negligence or even callus disregard?

TAHMOORESSI: Well, they were mad. They were angry with me. And everything they did to me was out of anger. And it was just another thing they did to kind of say, "Hey, screw you, buddy," you know.

VAN SUSTEREN: When your ankles were bleeding or when the ankle cuffs were so tight, did you ask them to loosen them up? And, if so, what was the response?

TAHMOORESSI: I didn't even bother asking. Because I know it would have been known. I had to ask for other things like water and for -- to call my family, and they weren't having anything. They didn't want to hear anything I had to say.


TAHMOORESSI: No, no water. I think I might have went 24 hours with no water.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ask for it and they said no or did they ignore you?

TAHMOORESSI: Yes. I asked for it many times and they would ignore me and then I would continue to ask and they would say no.


GUILFOYLE: And you will hear much more of Greta's interview with Sergeant Tahmooressi over the coming days, right here ON THE RECORD.