Alright, this will be quite the long post but could be a fun read. Funny how the justice system works down here, which I'll get way more into later in the post.
Where to start, where to start. I guess I'll start from the beginning, usually a good place to go from. So Wednesday night some of the bros went to watch the Tijuana Xolos game; I didn't go as I have been going hard at WCOOP hyper sats.
Anyhow, the boys leave after the game, continue drinking/fun elsewhere. At this point there's only 4/6 left and they are walking in front of Mr Pampas (sweet Brazilian Steakhouse) and somebody decides to give a friendly little whack to this plexiglass advertisement/standing billboard that was next to a bus stop. Apparently Ruse follows it up by just hammering it and it shatters into a million pieces. They start running, but by the time they could turn the corner, police are already closing in. Everyone gets arrested and taken to the **** Tijuana jail that is close to the strip club area (same jail I've been to along with some of the other bros over the courser of our time down here). Everyone but Ruse is released; the bros just figured that they were putting him in the drunk tank for the night and he'd pay his fine in the morning and be out as that's usually how it works. This is some time around 1am Thursday morning.
So, Thursday afternoon rolls around and we haven't heard from him, but thought maybe they were holding him for 24 hours or he just went home and straight passed out; all reasonable assumptions to be made at this point. At this point, we aren't really thinking anything will come of it, as it seemed like such a minor incident and he would likely just have to pay for the damage to the sign and maybe an additional fine. What we didn't know then is that the sign is city property, which is why this got out of hand, which I'll get more into below.
However, I wake up to this email on Friday afternoon ~3pm or so from the US Consulate. One of our friends called the number in the email, but they wouldn't give her any info over the phone, and the whole thing sounded sketchy to both herself and myself.
I instantly hit up the bros, by this point we have a 'FREE RUSE' skype chat going with the others that were with him that night along with myself and a couple other of the bros who have lived in the area. We decided that myself and 2 others were gonna roll up to where he was being held and see what we could do.
Unfortunately, since the consulate emailed me so late, I learned before even leaving Rosarito that the DA's office was already closed for the night and is closed until Monday morning. This meant that we ourselves couldn't really do anything to try to get Ruse out, the best we could do is take him food, which 2 guys who live in TJ were going to do (and I wasn't going to bother making the 30 min drive if all we were gonna do is hand someone food to give to him). Many of you reading this won't know this, but in these jails in Mexico, you don't get fed. Friends/family can bring you in food, but the jail does not feed you. I think Ruse said that the entire time he was there (~1am Thurs morning until 9pm Fri night) he ate 3 potato chips and a granola bar that the US Consulate member brought him.
Anyway, let's get back on track. So the DA office is closed until Monday, what the **** do we do now!? Ruse is gonna be stuck there until Monday afternoon/evening at the earliest, thats ****ed. Luckily, I guess, I spent most of my first 1.5 yrs in Mexico going anywhere and everywhere in Rosa and most of the locals know my group of friends and I (and most of us poker players in general). So I literally was in downtown Rosa walking from place to place where I knew workers/owners trying to find any info I could. I got the number to some civil officer that would have maybe been able to help us on Monday, but that wasn't good enough. So I eventually go into the local smoke shop and within 5 mins the owner had hooked me up with a lawyer who could straightaway go to Tijuana with me. I called the boys in TJ to confirm we should do this/pay the lawyer what he wants, obv was a snap yes, and boom, the lawyer and I are on the way to TJ to meet up with the fellas and then head to where Ruse was being held.
So, here's where **** gets interesting. Just like how rich people weasel their way out of **** in the US/other first world countries, in Mexico it comes down to who you/your lawyer knows and what connections you/they have etc. In addition to that, in Mexico the DA handling the case and the judge get to set the fine/penalty/etc; like 2 people could commit the same crime and 1 could pay 5x the fine as the other. The penalty is set by the DA and judge, not how it's written in the law. So, since it's a Friday evening and the DA office is closed, we have to hope that the person handling Ruse's case is someone that the lawyer knows/mutual friends/etc, in which he can try to contact the attorney and start the process of negotiating Ruse's release/cutting a deal.
Didn't get all the details from the lawyer, but about 2-3 hours later, the lawyer and Ruse are walking out to us! We end up paying the lawyer and he takes off, and then Ruse and I say our goodbyes to the bros and leave to head back to Rosa a few mins later.
On the ride home, Ruse was telling me what he learned from his meetings with different officials/consulate etc while in there. Apparently they were asking for 20,000 or 30,000 pesos (idr which, ~$1500 USD or ~$2200 USD) and the lawyer ended up getting it settled for 10,000 pesos.
Now this is speculation from Ruse and I, but I'm quite sure our hunch was right. We think since it was city owned property, and with him being white and admitting to living in San Antonio Del Mar, that they thought he was some rich white kid and they were going to try to throw the book at him and get max $'s out of him. We think this because they have 48 hours to charge you or release you; what happens in Tijuana is that you start in the jail by the strip clubs (its a ****hole jail, almost inhumane to be in) and then they matrix you out to other facilities. So Ruse went from that jail to the PGJE zona rio jail, which is where we got him last night. They still hadn't officially charged him with anything yet as of when I received that email from the Consulate, and it hadn't even happened last night when we arrived with the lawyer. So the clock was still ticking, but since he hadn't been released yet, and with it being city property and the fact it was a super minor offense (lemme just pay for the sign and leave, yea?) that they were stalling on compared to what they deal with on a daily basis, they were probably going to transfer him to the State Penitentiary sometime Saturday.
If that happened, not only would we have started off looking for him in the wrong place on Monday, but it would have probably been much more difficult to cut a deal, and the fine would have likely been much larger. So overall, we were pretty damn lucky to walk out with Ruse on Friday night. Was quite the educational experience though; already knew a decent amount about local law with the run-ins my friends and I have with the police over the course of my time in Mexico, but last night really we really scored a more in depth look at the system
So yea, think that's about it. Hoping I didn't leave anything important out or misremember details, already told Ruse to lmk if I did so and I'll have a PG&C Mod edit my post. Will end with this fb status we made last night at the jail; was too good of a fb check-in to pass up on :D
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