Family of Brayan Villarreal survives kidnapping attempt in Venezuela

We’ll never forget the scary kidnapping ordeal Wilson Ramos went through in his native Venezuela towards the end of 2011. Thankfully, the Washington Nationals catcher was found unharmed and rescued in short order, allowing him to return to his family and the rest of us to breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, massive security issues still exist in Venezuela. Crazy people are still out there trying to take advantage of those vulnerabilities, and over the weekend the family of Detroit Tigers pitcher Brayan Villarreal found themselves as targets of another armed kidnapping attempt.

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Tom Gage of the Detroit News confirmed and reported the news this afternoon. Though details were sketchy at that point, we were just happy to hear Villerreal's family survived the attempt and are currently safe.

The Tigers confirmed Sunday that the family of relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal was the target of an unsuccessful armed kidnapping on Friday night in Venezuela.

No members of Villarreal's family were harmed, however, and the incident won't require him to leave spring training.

Villarreal has since authorized his agent Hector Gomez to fill in the frightening details, which he did while speaking to ESPN Deportes:

Police were alerted about suspicious circumstances by a neighbor, but the robbers had assaulted Villarreal's father and threatened to kill his mother and his little brother if they made any noise when officers arrived.

"The guys put a gun in the mouth of Brayan's father and his little 14-year-old brother, threatening that they would return and kidnap everybody if they said anything to the Police. When the authorities reached the house to investigate if something was going on, they threatened everyone to not open the door," Gomez told on Sunday.

Obviously this was a very serious and dangerous situation that could have resulted in any number of endings. We really must commend the authorities involved for bringing it to a quick conclusion and for making sure Villarreal's family remained safe. We're very thankful that's the news we're reporting today.

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