HOUSTON – Family friends of William Nguyen said they were shocked to hear what happened to him while he was in Vietnam and are worried about his safety.
They just want him back home.
Friends said Nguyen is a Yale graduate who grew up and lives in Houston. He was studying abroad while working on getting his master's degree in Singapore.
Friends said the 32-year-old was recently visiting Vietnam and was demonstrating in an anti-Chinese government protest earlier this week. He documented things along the way through pictures on his Twitter account.
His friends said the protests started out peaceful, but then turned violent.
They said Nguyen was approached by police, beaten and dragged before being thrown in prison, where he remains.
Now, his family along with close friends are working to get him released.
"They're holding up (friends and family) as good as could be given the situation. Currently his sister is in D.C. trying to bring the attention to the issue with our state legislators and state department to secure his release back home," Nguyen's friend, Ted Hogans, said.