Brazilian Soccer Player Arrested in the Middle of a Match Over Kidnapping Charges

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Just a couple of months after a Brazilian soccer player left prison to go back to the pitch, another player is going in the opposite direction. On Wednesday, Marlon Natanael de Lima Alexandre, who plays under the name Lima, was arrested mid-match on charges of taking part in a violent kidnapping last year.

Lima had been eluding police since the alleged kidnapping occurred, but his commitment to hiding wasn’t as strong as his desire to keep playing soccer. That’s how Brazilian police were able to finally nab him at the Arthur Mesquita Dias Stadium this week, after finding out that he played for Sapucaiense in Brazil’s southern city of Puerto Allegre. To add insult to injury, Lima wasn’t even playing in the second division game when police rushed the bench to arrest him; he features on the club’s reserves.

Speaking afterwards about the arrest, Porto Allegre police commissioner Cesar Carrion said that the club helped make the arrest happen: “The arrest took place quietly inside the stadium, the club have no connection with the crimes, and even the directors collaborated with the police at the time of the arrest.” Club president José Luiz Reche Christianetti said that Lima’s arrest was a “sad surprise.”

The details of the alleged kidnapping, which took place in October of 2016, are as bizarre as his arrest: a 67-year-old woman claims she was kidnapped at gunpoint outside of a shopping center, and forced to spend over $1400 on her credit card for the kidnappers.

Lima also had three other outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest.