American hostage Alann Steen escaped from his captors last year but was spotted and turned in by neighbors in the Beirut suburb where he was being held, according to a published report.

Fellow hostage Mithileshwar Singh, who was freed in October, told U.S. officials that the 49-year-old Steen was beaten by his captors after his failed attempt to reach freedom, said a report in this week's Newsweek magazine.Several fillings were knocked out of Steen's teeth during the beating, Singh said.

Steen, Singh, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill, all teachers at Beirut University College, were kidnapped from the campus in 1987.

Singh told U.S. officials that he was treated better than the Americans because he is a native of India, although he has U.S. resident status.

Singh said the four teachers were kept in Beirut, usually chained and sometimes blindfolded, but were moved frequently because their captors feared a U.S. rescue effort.

All four had expected to be released around Election Day or the presidential inaugural in January, Singh said.