TIJUANA, Mexico – A U.S. executive abducted in this violent Mexico-U.S. border city escaped Friday after his kidnappers dozed off, officials said.
Yong Hak Kim, 53, a top administrator of Amex Manufacturing in eastern Tijuana, was seized as he drove to his business early Thursday. About 24 hours later, he was able to escape the small home where he had been taken, grabbing a gun and running into the street.
He told police he was unharmed by his abductors, but injured himself after brandishing a weapon and trying to jump aboard a passing gasoline truck. The scene caused such a commotion that neighbors called the police, said Victor Ramirez, a spokesman for Tijuana's police department.
Authorities arriving to the scene went with Kim back to the house where he had been held, but the kidnappers had fled. They recovered three pistols, two of which were plastic, Ramirez said.
Kim told police he was blindfolded and had his hands bound, but could tell by listening to the voices of his abductors that two men and one woman were involved. He said that in the early morning, only two of his abductors were present and he waited until they fell asleep to escape. Authorities believe the kidnappers were amateurs.
Ramirez said Kim, who is of Korean descent, lives in Los Angeles but frequently travels to Tijuana. His wife was with him in Mexico on Thursday, but he was alone at the time of the kidnapping — which came when Kim's car was intercepted by the kidnappers' vehicle.
Authorities described Amex Manufacturing as a small operation that offers services to larger manufacturers.