So, my son called me two nights ago and I could tell he was rattled! He’s been in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico enjoying the sunshine and playing golf. His friend, Jesse, arrived and the two of them decided to go out for the night and have some fun.
Any of you that have been to Mexico know that sometimes there are people on the street that try to encourage you to come into their establishment to enjoy their wares. Charlie and Jesse decided to go into one of the places and had some great food and a few drinks, but what the hell, they’re in Mexico and only a few doors down from where they are staying!
After a delightful meal, they started to head back to the hotel and found a place next door for a nightcap and to dangle their feet in the water before bed. They haven’t seen each other for a while, so were talking and just having a good time. A man approached them and told them not to go swimming or to go into the water because it was dangerous to do so.
“Oh no. We’re just talking.”
The man left and they continued joking and talking. Charlie started to laugh. His laugh is very distinct…very “Horse-Shackey.” He was holding his phone and somehow turned on the recorder by accident. Now because he last spoke to my husband, he accidentally sent part of what happened next to his dad.
The same man approached them again. And again, he told them not to go into the water.
Charlie said, “No, we’re good. We’re not going in.”
He turned back to Jesse when two cops approach and jerked them to their feet. Confused, the boys began to once again say they were just talking.
“No, we’re good, we’re fine,” Jesse said, trying to reassure them.
That’s where the recording cut off. The police handcuffed them both and Charlie began to speak in earnest. “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Look, just let me call my Dad. Hold on, Let me just make a phone call.”
The police started screaming at them in Spanish, and the boys keep repeating that they’re making a mistake. They got thrown into the back of a pickup truck and one officer got into the back with them. Searching Charlie’s backpack, they took all his money, and his charger. From Jess, they took his phone, money clip and Apple Watch. The entire time the boys still have no idea what they’ve done wrong. The truck began to move. On the way, they picked up another man, this time a local, who spoke to the boys in rapid-fire Spanish. The police officer, in the back, proceeded to start kicking the new detainee, and when the man fell down they continued to kick him in the head, repeatedly. The boys were absolutely speechless and of course, terrified because now they are literally driving out of town and far away from their hotel.
Just outside of town, the truck stopped and they dragged the boys out of the truck. As quick as they were picked up, they removed the cuffs, let them go, and drove away. The boys had no idea where they were. They began to run back the way they came. Taxicab after taxicab pulled over to see if they wanted a ride and that they shouldn’t be in the part of town they were in. The boys told each one what happened and that they had no money, so the cabs drove away. Eventually, one stopped and said he didn’t care that they didn’t have the money. He said they shouldn’t be there and looked at their wrist bands, with the hotel name printed on them. He drove them to the safety of their hotel.
Today, with the help of a translator, the boys explained what happened to them. A very long and confusing process ensued. Large charges had been made from a store on two of Jesse’s credit cards, along with a lot of small charges. They spent the day trying to sleuth out what exactly occurred. Here’s what they think happened. The hustler brought them into the restaurant and when they left, he told the owner of the store. That man told the spotter and the cops. The spotter approached the boys to make contact and distract them, as the police approached. When they dropped the boys off, the police circled back to the store and quickly unloaded Jesse’s cards. This entire organization is connected to a much more dangerous organization, and the boys decided they were getting a little too close to the sun, so dropped it.
I wanted to let you know, this happens. The boys were lucky that the people involved were after a quick take and not in a more dangerous mood. If this had been girls, they probably wouldn’t have been seen again. I wanted to let you know that it’s real and it happened in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
Keep in mind, though beautiful, there are parts of Mexico that are extremely dangerous. As Americans, we expect our police to behave a certain way. We have recourse when they don’t. When you are there, you don’t have rights, and many people that are supposed to protect you, are criminals and reprehensible human beings. The boys didn’t do anything wrong. They weren’t being disrespectful, and they weren’t causing problems. They were sitting by the water laughing and talking and having a good time, trying to enjoy the city, and their time together. It’s a real shame, that so many parts of that beautiful country are now so corrupt.
So, please be careful when and if you go, and keep your eyes open! Stay safe!