Mom of Detroiter imprisoned in China for alleged bar fight asks president for help

- A metro Detroit resident and former college football player has been imprisoned in china for more than a year for a crime he swears he didn't commit.

Wendell Brown's mother is calling for President Donald Trump to help bring her son home.

"We would be clearly grateful for him helping bring him home," said Antoinette Brown.

After the release of three UCLA basketball players from China after shoplifting, Antoinette is pleading for help in freeing her son. 

A Detroit native and former Ball State University football player has been jailed in China for the last 14 months for an alleged bar fight while in that country. 

"It's been absolutely devastating," she said. "Just not to be able to see my son, talk with him, like we are used to. It has taken a toll on my entire family. 

Wendell Brown was in China to play American football and evolved to be a coach and teach football.

"Trying to build the football league they are trying out here," he said in an old video interview. "They asked me to come out here and come on board and come help these guys out."

One night he went to a bar to celebrate a friend's birthday when the incident took place.

"A group of locals wanted to take pictures and drink with them," Antoinette said. "When they noticed that they were already too drunk and were (acting) disrespectful to him, so he decided not to. 

"They were upset that he declined and started throwing bottles at him. Wendell defended himself by throwing his arm up to block the bottles. The police were called, they came and arrested Wendell only."

As a result, there was a court case but that case has been over for four months now without any ruling from the judge. So Wendell remains in jail, waiting. 

According to Wendell's mother, there is video that supports Wendell's claim of self-defense. Also the man who accused Wendell in this case, tried to extort $100,000 from him. When he realized he could not pay it, the man admitted in court that he falsified the events of that night.

FOX 2 spoke to the state department who is fully up to date on this case, they do not deny those facts. 

"With that being said, the judge and all of that, all of the evidence presented, we're wondering why four months later we're still waiting on fair justice," Antoinette said.

When Antoinette first saw the story of the UCLA basketball players involved with shoplifting in China, she says she felt bad for them and their families because she knew the road ahead. But when they were released and she saw LaVar Ball, the father of one of the players, who downplayed the president's role in helping his son, it bothered her.

Antoinette Brown had this message for Ball. "He needs to grow up. Clearly our president has helped him in a situation that was unfortunate, and if he doesn't see that, then he's a fool."

She also hopes Ball's comments don't negatively impact President Trump's willingness to help in this case. 

"Absolutely," she said. "He's not going to want to help the ones that are clearly innocent based on (him thinking) everyone would be ungrateful and unappreciative to what he has sacrificed to do."

The U.S. State Department says it is doing everything it can to bring Wendell home, adding right now their main focus is making sure he's being treated fairly and protecting his health and safety behind bars.
 

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