The Abduction, Mugging and Dropoff of Matt by the La Paz Policia
We went out about 5 p.m. along the Malecon to the Bismark Restaurant for dinner. It was about an 8 block walk from the hotel and was recommended. Dinner was good and the margaritas were both tasty and very strong. After dinner we started our walk back to the hotel and were doing some sightseeing, etc. Stopped at another bar for another drink, talked to some street vendors, etc.
Around 9 or 10 we were within a block of our hotel and Matt decided he wanted to go back and look at some necklaces again by a street vendor. Zack and I continued up the street and back to the hotel. It was only 9 or 10 p.m.
The following is based on information told to me by Matt (Fosdick) the morning of April 11th and has been provided with his permission:
Matt was walking back to the vendor when he was motioned over to the street curb by a female Policia. She asked him some questions and for some reason got on her radio to call other Policia. 3-4 of them showed up in a Policia truck vehicle, had him put his hands on the truck, asked more questions, decided to handcuff him and then put him in the truck.
They drove out of town a mile or two into the desert and started interrogating him and going thru his wallet, cell phone, hotel key and anything else in his pockets. All of this in Spanish of course and Matt did not know what were asking. They took all of his money, gave him back his wallet and his cell phone. He had a numeric password lock on his cell phone so they could not get into it and decided it was useless to them. He is handcuffed in the truck the whole time.
They then proceeded to take him back into town and drop him off somewhere in the city. He did not know where he was or have any money. He eventually finds a Taxi, has the driver take him to the Hotel. He then tries to wake either me or Zack to get some money for the Taxi. We are sound asleep and he tries to tell the Taxi driver that he will pay him tomorrow. The Taxi guy just leaves. Matt unlocks the gate and get into his room.
In the morning when I show up for breakfast Matt is there and visibly shaken. He tells me this story and is concerned that they know where we are staying since the room key had the hotel name on it. He is unsure if there is anything he should do or if it should be reported. He decides not to do anything and goes back to his room to get more sleep as he has been running on Adrenalin all night…
Yes, we had been drinking after a long riding day, but it was only 9 or 10, we were only a block or maybe 2 from the hotel on a well lighted main boulevard. Yes, we had seen both La Paz Policia and Tourista Policia around town all day and assumed things were safe. There were other Snow Birds and tourists around town.
And that's the story told to me by Matt the morning after. So be safe, never split up and don't trust anyone.