BOWDON | Kidnap victim tells story of death, captivity

6:34 AM, Jan 30, 2012   |    comments
  • Nine days after his violent kidnapping in Nigeria, Greg Ock plays with his dogs at home in Bowden.
    
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BOWDON, Ga -- Nine days ago, Greg Ock was sitting in the back seat of a minivan in Warri, Nigeria, when his party was ambushed.

He watched in horror as the two men in the front seat were shot seven times. The gunmen abducted Ock.

"We had a high-speed chase -- went through roadblocks shooting at police and they were shooting at us ... they got me to a small house and I never left there again," Ock said.

He would spend the next week chained in a 10 x 20-foot hut. His ruthless abductors were holding him for a $300,000 ransom.

Ock, 50, is a mechanical engineer who was working for a Japanese company in Delta State, an oil region in southern Nigeria. He speculates his kidnappers were staking out the bank where he made several ATM withdrawals just before his abduction.

Ock had a MoPo, a mobile policeman bodyguard, with him and believes that made him a target.

"We don't want your soul," he said the kidnappers told him, "just the money."

But his abductors would taunt him with the gun they took from his bodyguard, who died from his gunshot wounds. His driver survived and remains hospitalized.

"They would poke me with the gun and say, 'Do you know whose gun this is? MoPo's. These bullets are for you,' and point to where they would go," he said. "I would think to myself, please don't shoot me. Just messing with my mind."

He spent his time thinking about family and friends. "I worried about my family, hoping I would get out of there," he said.

Everything changed on Thursday.

"I don't know what they paid them. They came back all happy and said 'you are free,'" Ock said. "I thought they would release me then, but they didn't."

The kidnappers woke Ock early Friday morning and drove him a few miles. They released him on an empty road, gave him money, and told him to catch a scooter to the nearest police station.

"I just stood there with a big grin ... I couldn't believe I had made it alive," he said. "The police didn't know who I was. I told them MoPo Unit 51 was killed, and then they knew who I was. I just waited for my people to come get me."

Ock is taking his ordeal in stride.

"I had a lot of people praying for me, and I want to thank everyone for that," he said. "I think that is what got us through it."

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