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Yachtsman Says He Was Subjected to Emotional Torture by Mexican Guards

September 20, 1998| From a Times Staff Writer

COZUMEL, Mexico — As he left the resort island where he spent the last five weeks detained on gun charges, Scott McClung on Saturday recounted instances of emotional torture he says he suffered at the hands of guards.

McClung--who on Saturday boarded an airplane for Costa Rica, from which he will pilot his boat back to Newport Beach--said the guards would often barge into the hospital room late at night and threaten him.

Administrators at the hospital where McClung was staying became concerned about the guards' behavior and persuaded local police to prevent them from entering the facility when armed, he said.

McClung, 36, was arrested in Cozumel on Aug. 10 and charged with violating Mexico's strict weapons laws when officials found two AR-15 semiautomatic rifles and three shotguns aboard McClung's $4.5-million boat, the Rapture. Also arrested but later released were McClung's father, Eugene, and the ship's first mate, Noah Bailey of Dana Point.

McClung said the yacht was armed because U.S. Coast Guard officials in Florida, where the boat began its journey, had warned him to beware of Caribbean pirates.

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