Two suspects are in custody following an alleged plot to kidnap a student and take him against his will to his native China.
According to CBS News, Tianshu Shi was a flight school student in Redding, California, when police say an instructor and his assistant attempted to kidnap him from his home.
The pilot, identified as IASCO Flight Training School instructor Jonathan McConkey, allegedly arrived at Shi’s residence with Kelsi Hoser and told him they were going to “take him away.”
Police reports indicate they expressed an intention to deport him “back to China.”
It was unclear from available reports whether police believe they know what motivated the pair to attempt the extrajudicial deportation.
The victim was attacked when he fought back against the suspects.
“When Shi refused, McConkey battered him, and threatened physical violence if he did not go with them,” police said.
In the face of intimidation from McConkey and Hoser, authorities indicate the victim “ultimately left with them in fear for his safety and was transported to the Redding Municipal Airport to be sent back to China.”
Before the flight departed, authorities reportedly detained the three individuals, ultimately placing McConkey and Hoser under arrest on suspicion of criminal counts including conspiracy and kidnapping.
Police say the victim was treated for minor injuries. Shi expressed his gratitude for the assistance of arresting officers.
“The police officer is the best American,” he said.
Shi has reportedly been in the U.S. for seven months.
[Featured: Jonathan McConkey and Kelsi Hoser/Redding Police Department]