Mother speaks out about son's alleged kidnapping from a Redding flight school
The mother of the Chinese flight school student in Redding is speaking out after the student said two school employees kidnapped him and tried to force him onto a flight back to China.
Last week the director of the IASCO Flight School, Jonathan McConkey, and his assistant, Kelsi Hoser, were arrested for kidnapping and conspiracy after they reportedly went to the student's apartment in Redding and took him to the Redding Airport.
Attorneys for the defendants said the student, 21-year-old Tianshu Shi, had been expelled from the school early this month, and was given notice that he was required by law to return home to China.
In a written statement from the student's mother, she described how her son has had nightmares, vomiting and at times trembled uncontrollably since the incident. The statement reads:
"I am the mother of Tianshu Shi, and I stay with my son. I've just heard a joint Statement issued by Attorneys of Jonathan McConkey and Kelsi Hoser. After review it on the internet, I have to say, the statement is full of lies.
1st, my son did not receive any Notifications from the China school, you may even hear from the conversation in the Audio Record, my son said: "I must receive the document from my……" interrupted by Kelsi Hoser, she said: "No, you don't have that right for demanding that." That fully proves before they came to my son's apartment, there is no such Notification mentioned in their joint statement.
2nd, my son is not the best, but he studies hard, and his instructors always indicate he is good and enough for the flight tests. Although, several tests were not passed, but the Civil Aviation Flight University of China has not asked my son back or permitted the IASCO return him by violence.
3rd, when I heard my son had been threatened, beaten and abused, I bought an air ticket and come here for protecting my son immediately. No attorney came with me, and I don't have enough money for an US Attorney. In the days after that, my son always had nightmares, sometimes even vomit and uncontrolled tremble. But I am proud of my son for his brave and courtesy when he faced those two perpetrators. You may hear from the conversion in Audio Record, even though so many F-word from Jonathan McConkey and his violence to my son, my son still said: "Don't touch me, sir. I respect you." But my son didn't obtain the respect from his teachers or school, all he received is only abusing and beating.
Additionally, they took revenge to my son soon. In the mid-night of 26 May 2018, one person of IASCO came and took a letter issued by IASCO management , asking my son must leave the apartment by 12:00am, few minutes later, another person of IASCO came and asked me to leave ,or he would take enforcement. With the help of Redding police officer, that man was expelled and my son avoid becoming homeless in that night. Actually my son had paid deposit for the apartment, and Civil Aviation Flight University of China will pay the rent. My son has right to stay here.
After this case in the press, the family of mine, the people of local church, the friends and classmates of my son around the world send their kindness to us, and they encourage my son to face this crime bravely.
Only the perpetrators will feel shame and humiliation with their crime to a Chinese young student. Only the liars will feel shame and humiliation with their conspiracy and dirty tricks. I believe the United States law will protect us and our fame?finally it will give us justice.
Appreciate the Redding Police officer, appreciate my son's classmates, appreciate the people here who give us encourage and kindness.
Forgive my poor English skill, and God bless all kindness people. Mother of Shi."
In an earlier statement, the defense attorneys for McConkey and Hoser offered their perspective on the criminal charges. That statement from John Runfola and Naomi Chung reads:
"Our clients vehemently deny the allegations that have been made and intend to prove their innocence. In the coming weeks, we will provide you with additional facts, documentation, personal information regarding Tianshu Shi, and information regarding the complexities of training a foreign national post-9/11. This is a very complicated situation involving multiple agencies.
IASCO Flight Training Inc. expelled Mr. Shi early this month for failure to meet the standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mr. Shi was given every legally permissible opportunity to successfully complete his training but was unable to demonstrate competency. He was given ample notice that he was required by law to return home to China upon his expulsion from the flight program. Mr. Shi's mother and her attorney have flown in from China in a continuing attempt by Mr. Shi to circumvent American regulations and avoid shame and humiliation at home. We ask the press and public to withhold judgment, afford our clients their presumption of innocence, their right to be tried in a courtroom and to respect their privacy as this process proceeds. "
McConkey and Hoser are free on bail.