California police say they thwarted a vigilante deportation attempt last week – in which a pilot allegedly kidnapped a foreign student, took him to an airport and tried to send him “back to China.” https://t.co/GBKYcXg2Gf— Sui-Lee Wee ??? (@suilee) May 27, 2018
A pilot and his assistant were arrested in California after trying to "deport" a foreign student, according to police.
Jonathan McConkey, a certified flight instructor, and his assistant, Kelsi Hoser, a ground instructor, are accused of kidnapping Tianshu Shi, a Chinese national on a student visa.
Shi had been living in the United States for nearly seven months at an apartment in Redding, California. He had been enrolled in a pilot training program with the IASCO Flight Training school.
However, on May 24, late at night, Shi's life took an unexpected turn when McConkey and Hoser, turned up at his doorstep, informing him they were "deporting" him, as per the police statement. The next morning, the pair returned, and forced the perplexed student into a car.
Shi, obviously, resisted. In response, McConkey battered him and threatened him with more violence if he didn't get on a plane.
Both the alleged kidnappers are IASCO employees.
The pair drove Shi to the municipal airport, where the IASCO kept its planes.
“He’s very rude,” the distressed student told Record Searchlight, adding McConkey “used too much dirty words.”
So, how was Shi rescued?
Before he was kidnapped from his apartment, Shi reportedly called his brother in Shanghai, asking for help. When his brother called back and couldn't get in touch with Shi, he called the Redding police.
Just as McConkey and Hoser were about to force Shi on a plane, the police arrived.
The authorities have charged McConkey and Hoser with conspiracy and kidnapping and they are held on US$100,000 bail each.
The reason the pair wanted to carry out vigilante deportation of the Chinese student remains unknown.
But the bizarre incident comes amid a spate of racially-charged incidents, involving mostly white perpetrators and people of color. In Fremont, California, for instance, a woman berated a Korean-American veteran during a road rage incident, saying, "I’m not Chinese. This is my country. This is not a Chinese [country]. Oh, My God, Chinese ugly … ugly Chinese."
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