The Washington Nationals catcher said he was grateful the authorities were able to rescue him from his abducters, four gunmen who he said were part of a carefully orchestrated kidnapping plan where they planned to demand a large ransom. He told a group of reporters at a police station in his hometown of Valencia of his harrowing experience.
"I didn't know if I was going to get out of it alive," Ramos said, speaking of the last moments leading up to his rescue where police and his kidnappers exchanged heavy gunfire.
Venezuelan security forces rescued Major League Baseball player Wilson Ramos Friday after bullets were exchanged and the four alleged kidnappers were arrested, the Associated Press reported. A government official did not say if injuries resulted from the gunfight, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Four armed men abducted the major league player from his home in Venezuela Wednesday while family members were with him. The captured abductors were Venezuelen men in their 20s. Two other accomplices, a 60-year-old woman and 74-year-old man, were also arrested, the LA Times reported.
Within the day of the baseball player's rescue, Venezuelan officials said they were confident Ramos' kidnap will be quickly solved, the Associated Press reported.
"We have faith in the quick resolution of this case," Deputy Justice Minister Edwin Rojas told state television Friday. The minister said his government have been gathering evidence and physical descriptions of the kidnappers.
It is the first kidnapping of a major leaguer, according to Major League Baseball officials. Venezuelan security expert Luis Cedeno told the AP that the crime was “very sophisticated,” and “well-planned,” saying the criminals of the high-profile kidnapping would have most likely demanded a large payout.
AP: “‘The motivation is totally economic, so it wouldn't make much sense for them to kill the player,’ Cedeno said, though he noted that in some cases it has happened.”
Katherine Vilera, spokeswoman for the catcher’s Venezuelan League team said through her Twitter account when she first heard of the incident that it was “sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped." Ramos was playing winter ball with the Aragua Tigers.
Venezuela is known for its high crime rates. Caracas and the rest of the country have one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world, according to the US State Department. Kidnappings from homes, hotels, unauthorized taxis and even the airport terminal against travellers have become frequently reported.