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Prosecutor Hails Men Who Took Suspect From Mexico Jail for U.S. Officials

February 7, 1986

ALPINE, Texas (AP) _ A prosecutor has lauded three unidentified men who kidnapped a rape suspect from a Mexican jail and tied him to a tree on the U.S. side for authorities.

″We don’t have any idea who they are, but we’re proud of them,″ District Attorney Phil Pollan said Thursday. ″We appreciate all the help we can get.″

Refugio Garcia Gonzales, 22, of Jimenez, Mexico, remained in jail Friday in lieu of $175,000 bond on charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping.

Gonzales had been indicted on those three charges in November by a Brewster County grand jury and had been been awaiting trial in the Ojinaga, Mexico, jail. Mexico does not extradite any of its citizens who are accused of crimes in other countries, but can try them there on charges from other countries, authorities said.

After an anonymous phone tip on Jan. 22, authorities found Gonzales, uninjured, in a roadside park 18 miles south of this Far West Texas community, said Brewster County Sheriff George Jones.

A report in El Sentinela, a newspaper in Ojinaga, said the three men armed with rifles broke into the city’s jail and tied up the two guards. The men then unlocked Gonzales’ cell and fled with the inmate, who was wearing only shorts, the Mexican newspaper reported.

The sheriff was out of the office Friday and no one else could comment on the matter, said Chief Deputy Pat Henderson.

Gonzales is accused of breaking into the home of a Terlingua woman, kidnapping her at knifepoint, holding her hostage for eight hours and raping her. The woman said she escaped after persuading the man she could get him more money at her office. She said she jumped from her pickup truck on her way to the office and called authorities.

Brewster County officers caught Gonzales about four miles inside Mexico, but Mexican police prevented them from bringing him across the border.

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