A gay couple from Indiana had a terrifying encounter with members of a Mexican cartel while birdwatching in Mexico.
In February 2020, YouTubers Aaron Payzant and Logan Howard decided to take a road trip from Indiana to Mexico to photograph exotic birds â only to find themselves being chased down and pulled over by a truck full of armed drug runners on a dirt road near Tabasco, Mexico.
'Oh My God. They Have Guns!'
Video of the incident was released in December but only recently went viral on social media after the DailyMail obtained additional footage of the harrowing encounter. In the dashcam footage, the couple is seen discussing which route to take before Howard notices a pick-up truck in the rear-view mirror approaching them at full speed.
"The car behind us is kinda scaring me with how fast it's going," Payzant is heard saying. Moments later, the truck cuts them off and pulls up in front of them before a group of armed men with their guns drawn at the couple exit the vehicle.
Payzant is filmed yelling "Oh my God. They have guns! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," while urging Howard, who was behind the wheel, to drive off.
'Please Don't Kill Us'
The pair plead "please, please, please... no Espanol," as the unidentified men approach the side window and quickly identify the Americans as "gringos." Howard then starts crying and hyperventilating with panic moments.
"No problem, no problem, no problem, ok?" one of the men says, resting a reassuring hand on the Payzant's shoulder.
"Please don't kill us," Payzant replies. Howard says he's going to pass out but is calmed down by Payzant. Watch the video below:
In the end the cartel members explain to the terrified men that they are not allowed to be on the remote dirt road and ask them to go back to the highway, the couple explained in a follow up video.
Couple Set Up GoFundMe to Bring Car Back to US from Mexico
The pair explained they suffered severe anxiety after the incident and even left their car in an undisclosed location in Mexico before high tailing it back to the states.
"This was as we were on a back road we were looking for wildlife and we were just seeing what we could find in an area where there was a lot of wetlands and stuff like that," Payzant explained. "This is the most extreme experience I've ever had birding," Howard added but said: "I would go back, just not in our personal vehicle."
Explaining why he didn't just drive away immediately after the cartel members said he was free to go, Payzant explained that he was in panic mode. "After seeing my life flash before my eyes, I started seizing almost. I couldn't drive,' he said.
The couple also set up a GoFundMe called "Help Aaron & Logan get car back to USA" shortly after the incident but did not receive any donations.