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Sr. Citizen Kills Attempted Mugger

February 23, 2007

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended of two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said.A retired member of the U.S. military aged about 70 put suspect 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, Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose, said Thursday. Segura was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he 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 ship after the incident and Hernandez said authorities do not plan to press any charges against them.

“They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up,” he 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.

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