SALT LAKE CITY — Josh Holt described his first few harrowing hours in a Venezuelan prison during an interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Today,” his first since arriving home a week ago after two years behind bars.
“At the very beginning it was horrible. They put me in a cell that was no bigger than what a twin bed would be. They had covered the door with a plastic bag so I wasn’t getting very much air. It was super, super hot,” he told “Today” co-host Hoda Kotb.
Holt’s wife, Thamy, and his parents, Jason and Laurie Holt, joined him in the 7-minute interview at the show’s New York City studio.
Holt, 26, said he just lay on ground in the cell in his underwear, sweating as cockroaches crawled all over him.
“They never took me out to go to the bathroom, so if you had to use the bathroom, you either had a bottle or a newspaper. You could just choose,” he said.
The Holts were in their apartment when police banged on the door, Holt said. Thamy opened the door and the police asked her if there were any men in the room. When she told them her husband was there, they entered the apartment, questioned him and left.
“They ended up coming back like a half hour later just to take me,” Josh Holt said.
“At first I wasn’t afraid because here in America you trust your police officers,” he said. “But over there, I didn’t know it was so dangerous.”
Timeline: How Utahn Josh Holt went from being jailed in Venezuela to an emotional D.C. reunion with family
Police also took Thamy Holt into custody.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
FILE – Josh Holt and his wife Thamy and one of their daughters Marian Leal react as are family and friends cheer as they arrive at the International terminal of the Salt Lake City International airport on Monday, May 28, 2018.
Thamy Holt was placed in a small cell with 23 women, Josh Holt said. The police tried to get her to turn against her husband and sign paperwork saying he was a bad person, but she didn’t want to do it because she knew it was all fake, he said.
“So they actually started to put her fingers into pencil sharpeners to take off her nails, to scare her. They tried to scare her with Tasers,” Josh Holt said.
Venezuelan intelligence officers …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News