Wendell Brown Returns To Detroit After Years In A Chinese Prison
Brown, who played for Ball State University in Indiana, was arrested back in 2016 over charges of intentional assault, and was later convicted in June 2018. His lawyer, Wu Junmei, confirmed with NBC News on Wednesday that Brown was released and left China on an evening flight from Chongqing.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, sincerely. Thank you for all your love, support, prayers, positive energy, everything,” Brown said, while wearing a sweatshirt with the word “Blessed” across the chest in a video posted on Twitter. “I’m coming home.”
A Chinese court ended up reducing his four-year sentence to three back in November, setting his release for Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Brown’s friend Quentin Sterling–an American businessman based in Chongqing, China–posted a video from a Chinese airport. He told NBC News that he was excited to see his friend freed and gave him a big hug when they were briefly reunited before the flight.
“He never complained to me about his time in prison. He had a lot of gratitude and positivity and didn’t say he would never want to come back to China,” Sterling said. He added that Brown’s family was preparing a surprise welcome party in Los Angeles.
Wendell Brown played as a linebacker for Ball State between 2004 and 2008 before going on to play in the Canadian Football League and later moving to China to coach.
That’s when he became involved in an altercation at a nightclub on Sept. 24, 2016 when someone threw a bottle at him. A local man then accused Brown of seriously injuring his eye, which had to be removed. Brown has since denied hitting the man at the bar and said he had raised his arms in self-defense after being attacked.
Congrats to Wendell on finally getting back to his hometown of Detroit after a looooong stint in a foreign prison.
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