Bandits stuff expat into car trunk and ignite vehicle

Firefighters rescued a middle-aged U.S. citizen from the trunk of a burning vehicle before dawn Wednesday morning near Coyol, Alajuela.

The man who has not been identified yet had survived at least three stab wounds to the chest, a judicial report said. A spokesperson for the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica said that the man had burns on 48 percent of his body.

An employee at the Hospital San Juan de Dios confirmed that the man was brought there early on Wednesday and has been unconscious ever since. She said that he is alive, but in very bad shape.

“He is very delicate condition,” she said. “It’s very, very bad.”

Neither the hospital, the fire department nor the Judicial Investigating Organization could confirm the man’s identity. Judicial Investigating Organization workers could only confirm that he is between 40 and 45 years of age and that he is a U.S. citizen.

According to the judicial bulletin, the man was walking to his car in a casino parking lot in Río
Segundo, Alajuela, near Juan Santamaría airport. The report says that several people approached him in the parking lot, forced him into his own car, an unspecified model made by Mazda, and forced him to drive to El Coyol, Alajuela, just west of the airport.

The man was then attacked, stabbed at least three times and thrown in the trunk of his own car. The car was set on fire, and the attackers fled before authorities arrived, according to investigators.

A fire department spokesperson said that the fire was reported at 1:52 Wednesday morning and a single truck arrived at 2:07 a.m. He said they found the car engulfed in flames a kilometer south of the El Coyol vehicle inspection station, but they were able to put out the fire in less than 15 minutes.

He also confirmed that the man was wounded in the chest and 48 percent of his body was burned. He explained that the man was taken to Hospital San Juan de Dios in downtown San José because that hospital is best suited for caring for severe burns.

An employee in the emergency room of San Juan de Dios confirmed that the man arrived, but she said that he was unconscious and unable to identify himself. She could only confirm that he was being treated there and that he was in critical condition.

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