The Latest: Detained student's mother: police want ransom
Jul. 20, 2017
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on an American student detained in China more than a month after a dispute with a taxi driver (all times local to Montana):
The mother of an American college student arrested in China following an altercation with a taxi driver weeks earlier says police are demanding the equivalent of a $7,400 "ransom" for his release.
Jennifer McLean said in an email to The Associated Press that she has not been allowed to see or communicate with her 25-year-old son, Guthrie, since his Sunday arrest on charges of intentional injury.
Family friend Tom Mitchell says during a June 10 fare dispute, Guthrie McLean pushed the taxi driver to the ground because the driver was roughing up his mother.
Jennifer McLean says her son was justified because the taxi driver was hurting her.
U.S. officials spoke with the 25-year-old University of Montana student Thursday at a detention center in the city of Zhengzhou and say he reported no physical or mental health concerns.
A spokeswoman for a U.S. lawmaker says an American college student arrested after an altercation with a taxi driver in China has reported no physical or mental health concerns related to his detention.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, Marnee Banks, said the U.S. Embassy in Beijing provided details Thursday on the status of Guthrie Mclean after the University of Montana student was visited by a consular official.
Mclean was arrested in the city of Zhengzhou Sunday and accused of intentionally injuring the taxi driver, according to family friend Tom Mitchell.
Mitchell says Mclean was trying to protect his mother after the driver attempted to rough her up following a fare dispute.
The Zhengzhou municipal security bureau said it does not discuss individual cases. A U.S. State Department official declined comment citing privacy considerations.
Police in central China have arrested an American college student on charges of intentional injury following an altercation with a taxi driver.
A family friend of Guthrie McLean said Thursday that the University of Montana student was formally arrested in the city of Zhengzhou earlier this week.
Tom Mitchell, the family friend who is also Beijing bureau chief for the Financial Times, said McLean was trying to protect his mother from a local taxi driver in a dispute that took place on June 10.
Mitchell said he's not aware if any U.S. official has visited McLean in detention.
The Zhengzhou municipal public security bureau, when contacted by The Associated Press, said it does not take inquiries about individual cases. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing referred questions to spokesmen in Washington.