INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 25, 2015)-- The State Department is investigating after a Carmel Clay Middle School teaching assistant was arrested in Spain. Brett Wright, 23, was arrested in Madrid on March 15. Wright has been in prison since his arrest.
State Department press officer Ashley Garrigus sent FOX59 the following statement about Wright's arrest:
"We can confirm that U.S. citizen Brett Wright was arrested in Madrid on March 15. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid is providing all possible consular assistance. The Department of State takes seriously its obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad, and stands ready to provide all possible consular services to U.S. citizens in need. For more information concerning his arrest, we refer you to the Spanish authorities."
Wright's trip was a gift from his mother and father for graduating with honors from Drake University. He was an all-star athlete and health and sciences major.
This is Wright's first trip traveling out of the country. He was meeting up with his brother Jonathon in Spain and Jonathon's soccer teammates from the University of Louisville.
Wright never connected with his brother.
While touring Madrid, Wright was approached by men in plain clothing. He thought he was being mugged and also does not speak Spanish. He met with his father, Dale Wright, in a Madrid prison on Friday to explain what happened.
"Brett told me three plain clothed guys, well dressed with slick backed hair. He didn't know who they were. They flashed something at him. He presented his passport to them. They looked at it for a minute or so. They stated that wasn't good enough and they physically grabbed him. He flinched back and that's when everything started I guess," said Dale.
Dale is in Madrid working with the U.S. Embassy to get Brett out of prison.
"He's never even been in a fight in his life. They made a couple comments to him about being Islamic. He said 'no - my mom is white. My dad is black,'" said Dale.
The men in plain clothes were police officers. It's not clear why they approached Brett. He is now charged with assault and resisting arrest.
"The assault with a police officer can carry a maximum of six years. The resisting arrest is a two year sentence. It is very serious," explained Dale via FaceTime in Madrid.
Attorneys in Madrid tell Dale it will likely be at least another week before Brett could get out of prison.
Brett's friends will host a prayer service at Mercy Road Church on College Avenue in Carmel on Sunday and every Sunday until Brett is home. The prayer service will be held before the 12:45 p.m. service.
Senator Dan Coats' office tells FOX59 they are aware of Brett's arrest. Senator Coats' office has reached out to the American Embassy in Spain.
"I am scared to death. This is my first-born son. I cannot lose him and I will not lose him," said Dale.
A crowdfunding page has been set up to help Brett's family with legal and travel expenses.