U.S. Tourist in Costa Rica Kills Mugger
By MARIANELA JIMENEZ
class=bylineAssociate Press Writer
Feb 22 9:50 PM US/Eastern
class=storySAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) -- A tour bus of U.S. senior citizens defended themselves against a group of alleged muggers, sending two of them fleeing and killing a third in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said on Thursday.
One of the tourists _ a retired member of the U.S. military aged about 70 _ put assailant Warner Segura in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus Wednesday, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose.
The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves. The tourists then drove Segura to the Red Cross where the man was declared dead. The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said.
The tourists left on their Carnival cruise after the incident and Hernandez said authorities do not plan to press any charges against them, saying they acted in self defense.
"They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up," Hernandez said.
Hernandez said Segura had previous charges against him for assaults.
In a media statement, Miami, Fla.-based Carnival Cruise Lines said the Wednesday incident occurred during an outing at a Limon beach which a group of a dozen passengers had arranged on their own.
"According to witnesses, while sightseeing at a local beach, the group of guests were approached by three assailants, one of whom was armed," the statement said.
"The victims struggled with the armed perpetrator, and were able to disarm him. During this process, the gunman's two accomplices fled the scene. In the course of disarming and restraining the assailant, he died from apparent asphyxiation."
Neither the Costa Rican police nor Carnival identified the man involved in the struggle with the mugger.
The cruise line said the guests were questioned by local law enforcement and then returned to the ship. The ship's departure from Limon was slightly delayed to await their return.
"All of the guests involved, who had booked the cruise together as a group, have opted to continue with their vacation plans. Carnival is providing full support and assistance to the guests," according to the statement.
The ship, The Carnival Liberty, continued on its scheduled itinerary, with a port call scheduled in Colon, Panama.