Two Redding Flight School Employees Have Been Charged With Kidnapping and Trying to Forcibly Deport a Chinese Student They Were Teaching
Two Redding Flight School employees have been arrested and charged with kidnapping a Chinese man whose university had paid about $70,000 for the school to train him as a pilot in the program.
The Guardian reports that one of the employees, Kelsi Hoser, allegedly told a Redding Police officer that “they were sending Shi back to China because his English wasn’t strong enough to safely communicate with the air traffic control tower…”
According to the Redding Police,
On May 25th, 2018 at approximately 7:18 A.M., Redding Police Department Officers respond to a reported kidnapping at 1400 block of Trudie Trail in Redding. The Victim, who was identified as TIANSHU SHI, is a pilot in training at a local flight school. The Victims brother, BAIHAN FU who lives in Shanghai China, spoke to SHI this morning. SHI told him somebody was at his apartment to take him away. When SHI’s brother did not hear back from him a short time later, he called and spoke to another flight student who told him SHI was just assaulted and taken away. FU subsequently called the Redding Police Department to report the kidnapping.
During the investigation officers learned Jonathan MCCONKEY [general manager at IASCO Flight Training] and his assistant, KELSI HOSER responded to SHI’S address last night to advise him they are sending him back to China. They responded back to SHI’s residence this morning to carry out this action. When SHI refused, MCCONKEY battered him, and threatened physical violence if he did not go with them. SHI ultimately left with them in fear for his safety and was transported to the Redding Municipal Airport to be sent back to China. Officers located SHI, MCCONKEY and HOSER at the airport.
MCCONKEY and HOSER were both ultimately arrested and booked for conspiracy and kidnapping.
SHI sustained only minor injuries and was later released by Police.
The Record Searchlight of Redding which has been following the story closely reports that another Chinese student at the school, Zhang Xun Yi, 24, was also threatened with deportation. He said he is
being sponsored through Xiamen Airlines, which paid more than $90,000 for him to attend IASCO flight school. But if he doesn’t finish school, he said, he and his parents, who are his co-signers, are on the hook to pay back the money.
In the same article, the Searchlight reports that the two students are looking for help dealing with the school and its employees. The Searchlight stated,
But since Friday’s incident, Shi believes the American legal system will work out for him. He said seeing Redding police officers respond to the airport within 10 minutes of his brother calling from Shanghai, China, was a relief.
“At that moment, police is my Jesus,” Shi said.
Shi said he plans on hiring an attorney, while Yi plans on calling on the Chinese Embassy for help.