Former U.S. Marine Jon Hammar spoke with Bill O’Reilly Monday night after being released from the Mexican prison where he had spent more than four months on what his mother described as a “trumped-up” gun charge.
Hammar had been scheduled to speak with O’Reilly on January 4, but was unable to make it at the last minute due to health issues resulting from his imprisonment. He had been released just four days before Christmas, and that’s where the interview began.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Hammar said in response to O’Reilly’s inquiry. “I was dehydrated, malnourished, I had a lung infection, stomach issues, a number of things…I lasted the majority of the time without getting sick, but [in] the end is when I started getting a little ill.”
The two then went over how Hammar ended up in prison, having been told by U.S. officials in Texas that he could cross into Mexico with a hunting shotgun as long as he filled out the appropriate paperwork.
When he got into Mexico, however, it was clear by the wait and bureaucracy that something was wrong.
“They didn’t let us know that we were going to jail, though,” he recalled. “They made it sound like we were just going to a place to pay a fee.”
After being detained for four days his friend was able to leave, but Hammar was eventually transferred to prison.
When O’Reilly asked about the violence Hammar faced and whether he was forced to fight anyone, the former marine responded: “I think I did alright, cause I’m alive right now. There was not much of a fight….they roughed me up a little bit, but it was quickly resolved.”
What was perhaps more difficult were the constant threats and phone calls to his family demanding money.
The U.S. Embassy was soon able to transfer Hammar out of the general population, and he began passing the time by reading.
“I read The Last Stand of Fox Company– it’s about the Marine Corps in North Korea, and I also read the Bible. I read all the whole Old Testament, and almost all of the New Testament,” he said.
Months into his imprisonment, Hammar said, he did begin to get frustrated with “all the authorities,” but was quick to say that he got out in the end.
“It worked out without anyone getting hurt,” he shrugged.
Watch the entire clip, which also includes Hammar thanking O’Reilly and others who publicized his case, via Fox News: