MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Locals rallied in Miami on Saturday for the release of a marine who was arrested in Mexico after he said he accidentally crossed the border with guns in his truck.
Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi , from Weston, continues to languish in a Mexican jail, facing three fire arm charges.
The rally marks the two month anniversary of his arrest and detention.
“He has been at the hands of gang members who tried to kill him and he had to survive a tortuous, severe beating,” said Jill Tahmooressi, Andrew’s mother.
With more than 100,000 signatures on a petition to release Tahmooressi, at noon, started rallying at US-1 and SW 112 Street. The rally lased until 2:00 p.m.
Tahmooressi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. He had moved to San Diego for treatment.
Dozens came together, including Olivia Hammar, a mother who knows exactly what Jill Tahmooressi is going through because her son, Jon Hammar, spent 4 and half months in a Mexican jail in 2012.
“This has to stop right now. Our state department is going to have to act. This is outrageous,” said Hammar. “He should have been released immediately.”
Hi mother, Jill Tahmooressi, said that while driving in March, he made a wrong turn and ended up crossing the border, with all his belongings, including legally purchased U.S. guns, in his pick up.
“He called me when he reached the border and said, ‘Mom, I want you to know where I’m at because I made a wrong turn, I ended up in Mexico and the Mexican officials are encompassing the truck, ” said Tahmooressi.
Andrew was taken to La Mesa prison in Tijuana, Mexico but later taken to El Hongo Prison in Tecate, Mexico.
In the first days of his detention, he said, his life was threatened and he attempted escape.
His mother got a heart stopping phone call from him about it.
“He called me one night and he said in a panicked voice, he said, ‘Mom I’m not going to make it through the night. There’s hit men in here, they have told me they are going to kill me. They’re going to rape and then torture and murder me and they’re going to send me out in a body bag,'” said Jill Tahmooressi.
Jill said Andrew escaped that section of the prison by scaling a wall. He was later chained to his cot for nearly a month after he stabbed himself in the neck.
Tahmooressi had a hearing on May 28th, where he fired his attorney. No word yet on whether he has hired a new attorney.
Click here for more information on the petition to release Tahmooressi.