OTR Interviews

Exclusive: Freed Marine: I just wanted to get away from that place, was 'joyful' in taking beating from Mexican prison officials

Exclusive - 'Freed Marine: Sgt. Tahmooressi's Story': Tahmooressi recounts attempted escape from Mexico prison and why the beating he subsequently suffered from prison guards didn't bother him. #MarineFreed

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 6, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: For the first time since his release from a Mexican prison, Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi telling his terrifying story. And as you hear for the first time, talk about it on Twitter using #MarineFreed. Now, during Sergeant Tahmooressi's 214 days behind bars, the marine often fearing for his life and so he tells us he made a daring escape attempt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you try to escape or try to commit suicide while you were in prison?

SGT. ANDREW TAHMOORESSI, U.S. MARINE RELEASED FROM MEXICAN PRISON: Uh-huh.

VAN SUSTEREN: Both?

TAHMOORESSI: Uh-huh.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which came first?

TAHMOORESSI: The escape.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what was that? Where was that? Which facility? Number one or the second?

TAHMOORESSI: Number one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Number one?

TAHMOORESSI: Number one.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what happened there?

TAHMOORESSI: Well, once I decided to escape, once I felt like you know there was -- I felt extremely afraid, I was very afraid. I felt like it would be the last night of my life right there that these guys were going to kill me, that these guys were going to -- and brutally kill me, I was thinking. I built up strength to run away. Because I thought running away was my only hope to get away from a situation like that.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so what happened? Obviously, you didn't escape. They grabbed you? How far did you get?

TAHMOORESSI: I got pretty far. I got pretty far. I made it to the front gates, but there was no way around the front gate. I had maybe climbed over four barbed wire fences and scared away some dogs, and almost got caught, almost got captured. One guy reached up to grab my foot as I was climbing up the fence, and he had just brushed me with his fingertips. It was exhilarating maybe to say.

VAN SUSTEREN: What happened after they caught you trying to escape? Did they then lock you down or what was their response to it?

TAHMOORESSI: The response was after I had given up, after I had surrendered, I lay -- well, I lay on the ground, I lay on the ground and then a guard comes over running and you know, starts whacking me with a stick. He starts whacking my legs with a stick. Another guard puts his boot on my head in the ground. And then, they drag me into the wall and put me on my knees up against the wall. And then they started hitting me in the face with open palms, nothing full blown. Buy you know just like -- and then after they were done beating me up a little bit, then -- which I was actually joyful to take that beating. I was happy about that beating.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why?

TAHMOORESSI: I knew the beating was coming. They were telling me stories about the guards, about how you know if someone acts up or does something wrong, they get beat. So I already knew what was going to happen to me. So I was glad as can be to take that beating. I was like, "Just bring it, just bring it on." I was just there, joyful knowing that I got away from that place, so the beating didn't bother me, and then they took me to a bunk bed in the cell and they strapped my arms around the post of the bunk bed and my legs around the bottom post of the bunk bed after they had stripped me down. I was standing there standing with my fist naked.

VAN SUSTEREN: Totally naked?

TAHMOORESSI: Totally naked, like that in the cold at night just there. No one tells me how long I'm going be there for. I'm just there, naked.

VAN SUSTEREN: How long were you strip searched and basically held down like that? Locked down like that?

TAHMOORESSI: For maybe nine hours, eight hours -- eight hours, nine hours.

VAN SUSTEREN: They had you standing like that? And what were you cuffed to? A poll?

TAHMOORESSI: Yes, a poll.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the expectation was that you were going to stand like that for nine hours naked cuffed like that for nine hours?

TAHMOORESSI: You know, I don't know how long the idea was of me standing there. I thought it's got to be the morning. It's got to be tomorrow that they will let me go. So they let me go that morning. They took me to a small cell, a small dark cell where I was put by myself. And then put on a bed with one leg up over here and my arm over here, one leg this way. My arm over here handcuffed here and there. I was just there lying on the bed like that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Naked still?

TAHMOORESSI: No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

TAHMOORESSI: They had given me some clothes. They had given me some clothes. I would just lay there just waiting. Telling the guards, you know, I have got to call my mom, panicking, I've got to call my mom. I've got to talk to my family.

VAN SUSTEREN: How long were you in that room sort of extended like that?

TAHMOORESSI: For 12 hours, maybe.

VAN SUSTEREN: And then what happens?

TAHMOORESSI: And then -- then I have to go pee. So I can't get to the toilet that's right here. But yet there's a Styrofoam cup over here, so I go and grab Styrofoam and I pee in the Styrofoam cup and I put it in the toilet. I can't flush so I have got to smell my urine. Then I have to do something else. So I go and take that same cup and remember my arm's over here and my leg is over here and I can't, you know, I can't -- so, you know, I managed to somewhat manage that and I felt like guards outside were having fun with the whole thing. Like, they were mocking me outside, making fun of me. So that was hard, some kind of an animal in a cage here with no -- like I don't even have life in me.

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