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Dad breaks silence on horror kidnapping and machete attack on vacation in Mexico

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A Utah father has broken his silence to reveal how he was kidnapped and attacked with a machete while a couple was vacationing in Mexico.

After being robbed and injured, the man had to spend months in and out of the hospital when he returned to the United States.

Dustan Jackson, 36, from Utah was kidnapped and machete attacked in Cancun, MexicoCredit: Courtesy of Dustan Jackson


He was in the hospital for months and still has nerve damage from the attackCredit: Courtesy of Dustan Jackson
Jackson was on a romantic vacation with his wife


Jackson was on a romantic vacation with his wifeCredit: Courtesy of Dustan Jackson

Dustan Jackson, 36, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was on a romantic vacation in Cancun, Mexico on Valentine’s Day this year with his wife.

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Four hours before their flight home, on Feb. 12, Jackson went to buy some chewing tobacco, so he called a cab, he told UKTN News on Thursday.

He said that when the taxi driver got to the supermarket around 10 a.m., he got out of the car.

Then “bam! The light is out,” Jackson said.

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Jackson blacked out and when he finally woke up, he was lying in a ditch after sunset.

His front teeth were broken, he had a welt on his head and machete wounds all over the left side of his body, he told the outlet.

“They chopped my entire left side of my body, ripped it to shreds, tried to cut my tendons or kill me or whatever they tried to do,” he said.

“And then they dumped me in a ditch.

“My shoulder is completely broken off right now.”

Jackson’s cellphone and credit card were stolen by the attackers, according to the newspaper.

The tourist said he was in a run-down neighborhood in the middle of the desert.

“The first police I encountered, I swear, at least it was a police station, they told me to leave,” he said.

He went out and screamed for help, but no one came.

Jackson said: “I decided to just give up.

“And then for some reason, I don’t know how long later, I have the thought that you can’t give up.”

He searched for help for hours, bleeding, before a police officer bandaged him and took him to the airport.

Jackson said, “She put some bandages on me; why didn’t she take me to the hospital, I don’t know.

“Some of the horror stories I’ve heard, I’m happy about that [she] not because I could have been trapped down there. Who knows?”


When he arrived at the airport, he begged people for help, looking “like a homeless person”.

Jackson initially found a wheelchair, but without a valid plane ticket, he said airport security forced him out and he was trapped on the ground, desperate for someone to help him.

Finally, he found an international traveler who spoke English to call his wife for him, who had already flown home.

The Good Samaritan, Kayla Jackson, also helped him find a hotel room for the night.

“My guardian angel,” Jackson said of Kayla.

His wife was able to transfer money for the hotel bill and a new flight home.

Jackson’s passport and bags were still at the airport and he was able to fly back to the US.


When he returned home, surgeons spent months trying to repair his injuries, which included installing an artificial joint.

Jackson spent February through late April in the hospital and returned in June as doctors found more nerve damage.

He said he’s only been able to move freely for the last two weeks.

Jackson told the outlet he now has severe nerve damage and can no longer work as a countertop contractor or play with his 14-year-old daughter who is on varsity softball.

While Jackson shared his traumatic experience, police in the Cancun tourist district and at the airport told the outlet they had no records of the attack or interactions with Jackson.

However, the attorney general in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo announced last week that they would launch an investigation into the attack.

A US State Department official also said the US government was aware of the allegations of the attack and is willing to help.

Americans visiting Quintana Roo, which has tourist attractions like Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, were warned by the State Department to “be more careful” about crime and kidnapping.

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“Criminal activity and violence can take place in any location and at any time, including popular tourist destinations,” the State Department announced.

“Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illegal activity occurs and immediately depart from potentially dangerous situations. U.S. citizens and [lawful permanent residents] have been kidnapped.”

After being beaten and searching for help for hours, Jackson returned to the US


After being beaten and searching for help for hours, Jackson returned to the USCredit: Instagram/@dustanjackson