Detroit football star returns to US after release from Chinese prison

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Detroit football star released Chinese prison

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Detroit native and former college football star is back in the United States after spending three years in a China prison.

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Wendell Brown, a Detroit high school standout who played at Ball State University, arrived in Detroit early Wednesday after his release the previous day, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"I've been waiting on this moment for years. I've dreamed of this moment," Brown told reporters after arriving at Detroit Metro Airport shortly after 6 a.m.

Brown, who also played in the Canadian Football League, was coaching American football in Chongqing, China, when he was arrested after a bar fight, WDIV reported. Brown claimed self-defense but was convicted in June 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison, according to The Detroit News.

The incident occurred Sept. 24, 2016, when people at a nightclub threw a bottle at Brown and a fight ensued, the newspaper reported. Brown was arrested and detained for 20 months before he was sentenced to four years in prison, according to the News.

Based on good behavior and restitution to the bar fight victim -- which was funded by a GoFundMe page and Ball State alumni -- Brown's sentence was reduced to three years in November, the Free Press reported.

"I'm happy to be home, finally. After all these years, after all these years of pain and suffering, I finally get to celebrate with my family. I'm home," Brown told WJBK. "I'm back on American soil, glory be to God! It's a celebration."

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