An American tourist was allegedly kidnapped and assaulted in Mexico just hours before he and his wife were due to leave the country. Investigators are looking into allegations Dustan Jackson, 36, was violently assaulted after hailing a cab in the coastal city of Cancun.
The dream holiday turned into a nightmare, dad-of-five Mr Jackson says, after he got in the cab just before his flight home – hoping to purchase chewing tobacco for the journey.
Cancun is popular because of its picturesque beaches facing the beautiful azure Caribbean sea – but one of Mr Jackson’s lasting memories will be lying in a ditch for 36 hours “waiting to die”, he says.
Mr Jackson says the taxi took him to a petrol station, but the shop didn’t have the tobacco so he accepted an offer from the driver to take him to another store.
“Next thing I know, I show up to a grocery store, I get out at the grocery store, and bam! Light’s out,” he told the New York Post of the incident in February 2022.
Mr Jackson, from Salt Lake City, Utah, said he woke up in a ditch severely injured and later learned thousands of dollars had been charged to his credit card, he claims.
It was dark, his front teeth were broken and he had a welt on the back of his head.
He said his shoulder was broken off and believes those responsible threw him into the ditch.
He told FOX 11 Los Angeles: “They went to cut my Achilles tendon, and they missed and, instead of hitting it, they hit the bottom of my foot and then my foot just flapped around.”
“They were trying to cut all my tendons and leave me for dead,” Mr Jackson added. Doctors told him that based on his crushed shoulder, believing he was thrown out of a vehicle.
His voice breaking, Mr Jackson, who has a 14-year-old daughter, said he laid in the ditch for at least 36 hours just “waiting to die”.
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Mr Jackson has a wife and five children. He says he was a contractor but now his injuries prevent him from doing many of his usual activities.
He aims to turn his ordeal into a documentary and has started a Kickstarter to raise money for that purpose.
Mexico in recent decades has been rocked by incidents of violence, often stemming from cartel groups who make enormous amounts of money smuggling illegal drugs into the United States.
There have been instances of tourists being killed in the country before. It is one of the top destinations for travellers from the US.