Venezuelan police commandos raided a house in the mountains about an hour from Wilson Ramos' home last night, exchanged gunfire with the catcher's abductors and then rescued him from a bedroom and whisked him away to be reunited with family members.
"The truth is, at the moment they came to get me I was very nervous," Ramos told reporters early this morning outside his family's house. "There were many gunshots ... thanks to God, those guys did a tremendous job. I'm super grateful to them."
Roughly 51 hours after he was abducted by four armed men outside his home near Valencia, Ramos was back at the same location, greeted by ecstatic family members, friends, media and other well-wishers who had been anxiously awaiting his return.
"Thanks to God!" Ramos' mother, Maria Campos, exclaimed on Venezuelan television. "Thanks to my country, to my neighbors and to my family, who were supporting us."
After an exhaustive search, police discovered Ramos being held in a home in the mountainous region of Carababo state, not far from where they found two vehicles believed to have been used in the kidnapping.
Ramos said he did not know who his abductors were but could tell they were Colombian from their accents. They said little to him throughout the entire ordeal.
"They simply told me to cooperate, that they were going to ask for a ton of cash for me," he told reporters. "They put me in a room with a bed. I was lying there. It was hard for me to think about, if I was going to get out alive, first of all ... about how my family, my mother were."
Five men were arrested in conjunction with the kidnapping, Venezuelan justice minister Tareck El Aissami announced.
Following his rescue, Ramos underwent medical tests to ensure he was uninjured.
"They didn't physically harm me," he said. "But psychologically, I underwent very great harm."
Ramos said he intends to resume playing "as soon as I feel all right."
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo spoke with Ramos late last night and was assured the 24-year-old catcher had been unharmed.
"I join Wilson in thanking the many law enforcement officials in Venezuela and investigators with Major League Baseball who worked tirelessly to ensure a positive ending to what has been a frightening ordeal," Rizzo said in a statement. "The only detail that concerns us tonight is that Wilson is safe. The entire Washington Nationals family is thankful that Wilson Ramos is coming home."