American Kidnapped in Haiti Escapes
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- An American businessman abducted outside
mansion managed to escape a few hours later, a source close to the family said
Marc Ashton, a longtime Haiti resident who is a main stockholder of a Toyota
dealer in Port-au-Prince, was taken hostage Thursday afternoon by at least five
abductors lying in wait, witnesses said.
He returned home late that evening, and he and his family left Haiti on
a flight to
Miami on Friday, the source said on condition of anonymity. No details of his
escape were available, and radio reports that the captors had sought a $1 million
ransom could not be confirmed.
Attacks on foreigners in Haiti had been rare until this year. However,
a recent surge
of crime has taken the lives of two U.S. citizens in the past two weeks.
Unidentified gunmen fatally shot Alejandro Morales, 31, of Miami, on a
near the capital. Maureen Nielson, 33, of Rochester, N.Y., was killed by a gunman
after leaving a Port-au-Prince bank March 23. Both had been working in Haiti,
Morales as a mechanic and Nielson as a volunteer missionary at an orphanage.
The U.S. Embassy has declined to comment on both cases. The State Department
has warned Americans against traveling to Haiti ``due to the unstable security