-- An American college student who was arrested in China one week ago after allegedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a dispute over a fare has been released, according to a U.S. senator.
Steve Daines, the U.S. Senator from Montana, released a statement today announcing the release of Guthrie McLean, 25, at 2 a.m. local time in China.
"I am thrilled to report that we just received an email from Guthrie McLean's mother that 'prayers answered, Guthrie is home,'" Daines said in a statement. "After days of working the phones with top Chinese and American officials to secure Guthrie's freedom from a Chinese detention facility, he has been safely reunited with his mother."
The University of Montana senior was detained on July 16 in the city of Zhengzhou on charges of intentional injury, according to a report in The Associated Press.
Jennifer McLean, his mother, alleges that Chinese police demanded the equivalent of $7,400 in compensation from the family and threatened to imprison her son for up to three years if they refused to pay, the AP reported.
McLean alleged that her son got involved in the altercation in her defense, and said that his actions were justified because the taxi driver was trying to harm her, the AP reported.
Daines' office said in a statement that he had been working with Chinese and U.S. embassies as well as Jennifer McLean in an effort to coordinate the student's return to the U.S.