Wednesday, April 23, 2008

News story

I'm at work, but I had to post this. I remember hearing the story several months back about the little girl in Australia that was abandoned and they were looking for the father because the mother was dead. I didn't know they found him. I didn't know they found him down the road where we take Chinese dance. I think this story is absolutely amazing though. It made me cry to hear what these guys did. They are definitely hero's in my book.

People touched by their actions raise $7,000 for the captors.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/22/08

Tuesday's press conference in Chamblee had the expected heroes: Chinese immigrants who lured an international fugitive into an apartment, hog-tied him and called police.

And there was the reward: $10,000.

Only this turns out to be a story of two good deeds. And, as the reluctant heroes were surprised to learn Tuesday, two rewards.

Superintendent Sandra Manderson, the New Zealand Police representative in the United States, was in charge of the official check. She handed the $10,000 to a beaming Gui Sen Wu, Dong Shun Li and Xin Bao Li at a small ceremony inside the Chamblee Police Department. The other half of the "Chamblee Six" have either moved out of state or were working Tuesday.

Manderson, with the help of an interpreter, thanked the scrappy band of Mandarin-speaking chefs and deliverymen for the courage and integrity they showed in ending the five-month manhunt for Nai Yin Xue. The 53-year-old fugitive had sparked international outrage for allegedly murdering his wife in New Zealand, abandoning their 3-year-old at an Australian train station and fleeing to America.

"You took it upon yourself to do the right thing," Manderson said. "... We love you in New Zealand."

Video cameras caught Xue ditching his daughter, known as "Pumpkin" for the brand of clothing she wore, at a Melbourne train station, then giving a double thumbs up as he passed through metal detectors at the airport in September. Police later found the body of Xue's wife — Pumpkin's mother — in the trunk of a car outside the family's Auckland, New Zealand, home.

The Chamblee Six learned of the case in February, from an article in a Chinese-language newspaper. They recognized the man striking a kung fu pose in the accompanying photo, a self-described martial arts expert living in nearby Doraville.

After a language barrier foiled several attempts to tell police about the man who called himself "Mr. Tang," the six took matters into their own hands. They invited him into the Shallowford Arms apartment with the promise of starting a massage business together. Instead, they hog-tied him with two belts, a pair of pants and blanket. Twice featured on "America's Most Wanted," Xue had been nabbed by folks who'd never seen the show. And this time he made the job easy for police, who discovered he was still carrying his New Zealand ID.

But what touched many about the capture was what the immigrants – who earn little more than minimum wage and support family back in China — did after learning of the reward from New Zealand police. They wrote up a contract agreeing to give $2,000 to an ailing friend. The other $8,000, they decided, should go to that little orphan named Pumpkin.

Wu, who wore a city of Chamblee pin on his sweater vest Tuesday, reiterated that commitment to Manderson, asking for her help in wiring the money to Pumpkin. "Well done," Manderson said, urging them to spend a little on themselves. "Fantastic."

Wu nodded repeatedly and thanked her for the kind words. But he said he didn't understand why they needed special recognition. "We did," he said through an interpreter, "what any American would do."

Watching from the audience was Lever Stewart, an Atlanta CEO who is active in several child-focused charities. He is among roughly a dozen people who, after reading of the Chamblee Six's generosity last month, decided to raise money for them. When learning that two of them had nowhere to live, Stewart put down a $500 deposit for an apartment.

"To take such a big sum and give it right back to the orphan," Stewart said, shaking his head. "They had no money."

Tuesday Wu and the others learned that donations from Stewart and others moved by their story had reached at least $7,000. "From the bottom of our hearts," Wu said, "we express our deep gratitude to our American friends who donated to us."

The search for justice touched three continents and, in the end, so did the just rewards.


Previously: Six Chinese immigrants capture international fugitive Nai Yin Xue in a Chamblee apartment and are celebrated as heroes in New Zealand, where Xue is charged with murdering his wife and abandoning their 3-year-old daughter, Pumpkin. Upon learning of a $10,000 reward, the Chamblee Six decide to give the lion's share to Pumpkin, now an orphan living with her grandmother in China.

The latest: The heroes officially received their reward money Tuesday and prepared to wire $8,000 of it to Pumpkin. The remainder, they say, will go to an ailing friend.

What's next: Metro Atlantans who read of Chamblee Six's generosity have raised $7,000 and counting, and plan to give them the money in coming days. Xue, meanwhile, is set to go on trial early next year for murder

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