Wendell Brown spent 3 years in Chinese prison for bar fight

Detroit native returns home

DETROIT – Detroit native Wendell Brown returned home Wednesday morning after spending three years in a Chinese prison.

Brown is a former Ball State University and Canadian Football League player who was coaching American football in Chongqing, China when he was arrested after a bar fight in September 2016. Brown claimed self-defense but was sentenced to four years in prison.

Brown's sentence was reduced by one year and his official release from China was on Tuesday. He arrived at Detroit Metro Airport early Wednesday morning.

"I'm happy to be home, finally, after all these years of pain and suffering I finally get to be with my family," he said. "I'm home and back on American soil. I've been waiting for this moment for years, I've been dreaming of this moment."

Brown is a graduate of Detroit Martin Luther King High School.

Filmmaker Matt Liston said he is working on a documentary about Brown's experience. Liston is a fellow Ball State alumnus who has been following Brown's story closely.

"I got to know Wendell's family, and as you can see they are lovely people, and I became very passionate about Wendell and his family, and about his cause. I'm documenting not only Wendell's story but also the story of the team of people who helped bring him home."

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