June 8th to 11th – The United States Embassy

The details of the next few days seem a little trivial at this point, but I left Naryn on the 8th in a taxi headed for Bishkek. It was a long sketchy ride with a drunk taxi driver who couldn’t stay awake or keep the car on the road. I offered to drive several times; he declined with embarrassment an insult. At some point, I literally started smacking him in the arm when I saw his eyes sag. We were pulled over 3 times on the drive up to Bishkek and all three times, the police let him go. I put my seatbelt on, kept the man awake and sucked it up – I needed to get to the Embassy and get help.

I showed up to the Embassy first thing Monday morning hoping for a sense of elation, similar as what you see in the movies. The guard lets you through the gate, there’s green grass with Americans milling around and you are now free to move about on US soil. Unfortunately this isn’t the movies because I was shocked to find local contracted security guards working on both sides of the gate – no americans in uniform to protect me, just just local security guards who spoke little to no english. There was no feeling of American soil, no feeling of people doing everything possible to “rescue” you and get you help. I was just another number stepping up to the glass, explaining my story to the clerk on the other side. I left with the names of a couple local attorneys (who I found didnt even handle this type of thing) and the address to the registration office where i’d have to go to get a visa (another junk show). I was crushed and deflated.

I spent the next few days working on getting a temporary passport (which border guards don’t want to accept when trying to leave the country and/or enter the next), securing a new visa, and traveling back to Naryn to talk with the officers. All in all, it was a good time for me to process the events and clear my head.
I received a call, I believe on the night of the 9th around 11:00, informing me the officers had caught the robbers and recovered my items. To clarify, they recovered the items of no use to the officers…  This became clear in a later conversation with one of the officers who was describing my sat phone, as he would’ve had to had his hands on it in order to describe what he did. I traveled to Naryn on the 10th and spent the day giving interviews to reporters, giving more interviews with the officers, as well as having a face-to-face meeting with one of the men who beat and robbed me. I was shocked to find out one of the robbers was the horseman who I first met when I got to the campsite. I was so bummed to have learned of this– I really enjoyed our interaction and was quite sad when I found out he was one of the guys. I had it in my mind the whole time, it was a random act by a couple of drunks passing by – instead it was a planned and calculated attempt.

The head investigator sat me next to the Horseman (literally, just 2’ away) and conducted a group interview for about an hour or so, going over the events of the night and asking questions to both of us. Quite a crazy way to handle the whole affair, sitting next to the man as he was explaining the night and admitting to everything. I left the office feeling a bit violated and headed outside only to be met by the families of the two men. They were obviously quite emotional and certainly only interested in making it easy on their boys/men. “Please tell the Judge to go easy on them, they are good men”. I got on my motorcycle and rode away feeling really sad for the families; this will undoubtedly be their burden to bear as well.

My understanding from the detective is the men will most likely go to prison for 15 yrs.

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