President Donald Trump speaks in the Farm Bureau Building on Sept. 27 at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds. Special counsel Robert Mueller warned individuals in President Donald Trump’s orbit that lying about contacts between the president’s campaign and Russians could cause them to get federal criminal charges. Kaiti Sullivan, DN File
Former Ball State football player Wendell Brown seeks help from Trump in China
President Donald Trump stepped up to assist three UCLA basketball players after they were arrested for shoplifting in China on Tuesday. One of those players LiAngelo Ball, son of celebrity LaVar Ball, was able to avoid between three and 10 years in prison if convicted.
However, Trump has not saved everyone — at least not yet.
Wendell Brown, a 30-year-old former linebacker at Ball State and in the Canadian Football League, has been detained in a Chongqing jail in China for 14 months after getting in a bar fight over a year ago. Now that Trump has reached out to help the Ball family, the Brown family is seeking the same help.
"I'll thank him. If Trump lets us, if he helps Wendell, I won't stop thanking him," Antoinette Brown, mother of Wendell, told Yahoo Sports. "He helped get three basketball players who were guilty get out. I pray he’ll help get my innocent son out. And if he does, I’ll thank him and thank him and thank him."
In September 2016, Brown attended a party at a bar where he was arrested for hitting a man, causing him to lose an eye. Although Brown had no prior arrests and denied the charge, saying it was self defense, he was sent to jail.
The Brown family hired a lawyer in China, but have found it to be no help. They have not been able to communicate with their son outside of written correspondence and were told they need to pay $100,000 as restitution.
While at Ball State, the Detroit, Michigan, native was an inside linebacker who played on the team in 2004-07 under former head coach Brady Hoke. In his junior season, he started all 12 games and ranked second on the team in tackles. Wendell then sat out his senior season with an injury.
When the Brown family found out about what the Ball family was going through, the situation hit home for them.
Antoinette Brown told Yahoo Sports that she "felt bad for them because I know what we’ve been through. I thought, these poor guys and their families are going to go through hell.”
Trump worked with China's President Xi Jinping to get the three UCLA basketball players released and returned safely to the United States.
The Brown family now awaits the help of Trump when it comes to getting their son Wendell released.