Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi detailed the conditions he says he faced while behind bars in Mexico during a special that aired on Fox News Thursday night.
Speaking with "On the Record" host Greta Van Susteren, Tahmooressi recounted his experience crossing the border earlier this year. The former marine maintained that he made a wrong turn into the country and never intended to cross over the border with firearms.
After being taken into prison, Tahmooressi explained that he started to feel vulnerable as an American behind bars.
“So they see my weakness and I think they started taking advantage of my weakness, just to maybe have fun with me," he said, noting most prisoners didn't speak English. "Or maybe they feel threatened by me because I was this odd-out guy, you know, kind of keeping to himself over there.”
[sharequote="center"]"...they started taking advantage of my weakness, just to maybe have fun with me."[/sharequote]
Tahmooressi told Van Susteren that he had his hands and ankles handcuffed to a bed because he "wasn't a behaved prisoner."
“I believe they did it because they were afraid of me, afraid that I might do something again and really end up doing something like successfully killing myself or harming somebody and that they would get in trouble for it by not being able to control the situation,” he told the Fox News host.
Fearing for his personal safety, Tahmooressi then attempted to escape.
“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 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,” he said.
After being caught, the former marine said guards "beat him up a little bit" before he was bound to a bed naked.
“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. So I’m like some kind of animal in a cage here ... like I don’t even have life in me," he told Van Susteren.
On Friday, a Mexican judge ordered the immediate release of Tahmooressi and he arrived back on American soil later that night. The former marine said he was "glad" and "happy" when he heard the news.
“I think if we take the lesson from this and that is that we need to look after each other, we all need to look after each other," he said at the conclusion of his interview. "We all should care for each other and take the time to care, pretty much."
“I’ll be just fine, I promise you," he added.
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