American Expat Returns Home After Being Jailed in China

Source: Detroit News

At 5:30 the text came in: He just landed, said Jenna Starkey.

Wendell Brown, 32, finally came home to Detroit almost three years to the date after a bar fight in China that changed his life.

Through the efforts of family, friends and diplomats, Brown returned to America last night, landing in Los Angeles.

What Brown didn't know was that a group of two dozen loved ones awaited him, wearing T-shirts and holding Welcome Home Wendell signs.What he also didn't know was that a party bus brought them to Metro Airport, and a party bus would carry Brown to his next destination.

The plan from there, said cousin Mook Brown, 24, was to get Wendell a big meal, good company and then some rest.

Why He Was Jailed

A Chinese court sentenced Brown to four years in prison in June 2018 for being involved in a bar fight.

Brown, 32, a graduate of Detroit King High School who played for Ball State University in Indiana, had been teaching American football in southwest China when he was arrested in September 2016 and later charged with intentional assault. 

He has denied hitting a man at a bar and said he had raised his arms in self-defense after being attacked.

Family members and a group of people who banded under the name Team Wendell campaigned to local authorities in China and the United States for Brown's release.