Perrysburg business owner stuck in South Korea pleading for help


    A picture of Don Yi,currently stuck in South Korea (courtesy:nbc24.com).

    Perrsysburg, Ohio (WNWO)-- The family of a local business owner is pleading for his return home after he was detained in Korea.

    "One minute we were chatting with him and another minute it was just mute nothing," said Kim Yi, sister of Tong Yi who goes by Don.

    Her brother, a United States army veteran and US citizen is trapped in a peninsula more than 6,000 miles away after visting the country to get his dead father's affairs in order.

    "My mom and I called the Korean police station 4 o clock in the morning our time and that's when we figured out he was finally in jail," said Yi.

    So what crime would be worthy of being held for 6 hours and in a place against your will? The Korean government says Yi evaded time in the military, even though he'd been in the U.S. since he was nine.

    The Korean military requires a mandatory service of two years. Don immigrated to the U.S. in 1988 and became a citizen in 2011, renouncing his Korean citizenship.

    He claims he nor his parents knew anything aboutthe two year requirement.

    "He's just exhausted, he doesn't know what to do" said his sister.

    He and his family are owners of a business in Perrsyburg called Tea Tree Asian Bistro.

    Many in the community are advocating on his behalf.

    Don issued a Facebook post which has gotten nearly 1,000 shares asking for help.

    He has tried contacting Korean Police and the American Embassy in Korea. He says both agency claims there's nothing they can do.

    The Korean government claims Don can come back to the U.S. March 6th but his family isn't sure if that will happen.

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