A Bay Area mother is pleading for authorities to release her son in jail overseas over what she called a big falsity. Her 31-year-old son, who grew up in Palo Alto, was doing humanitarian work in the Nepal when he was arrested. The U.S. Department of State is assisting and said it's aware of his arrest.
Mary Bartinowski thought her son, Wolf Price, would be released from jail in a matter of days. Now it's been almost two months and she said his imprisonment isn't just wrong, but inhumane.
“It’s hard because it's so wrong,” said Bartinowski. “He's innocent and he's done so many good things.”
Bartinowski clings onto her phone holding it close to her heart after reading the last texts from her only son that simply said, “I love you.”
Price, a Palo Alto High School graduate and ordained monk has devoted the past 12 years, mostly on his own dime and with some grants, doing philanthropic work in Nepal helping oppressed women and children.
“My heart is broken into a million pieces thinking about what he's done for people,” said Bartinowski. “They shouldn't be treating him like that. They should be honoring him.”
Back on April 5, Bartinowski said her son was breaking up a fight between a troubled teen and his sister. The teen then started pounding his head on the ground and accused Wolf of hurting him.
Bartinowski said the teen's sister even told authorities her brother was lying. However, without a translator for Wolf, police arrested him. Forty-six days later, he still sits in jail.
“I’ve learned since then there are innocent people who are held for quite some time without any evidence,” said Bartinowski.
Bartnikowski said her son is still awaiting charges, not tortured but living in horrible conditions in a room with 100 men with no ventilation.
“It’s not how to treat people like an animal,” said Bartinowski.
She called the justice system archaic.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of State said, "Since Mr. Price's arrest, consular officers have visited him. We will continue to provide appropriate consular services.”
Wolf has hired a private attorney but with no trial date set, his mother is concerned for his health hoping they'll be reunited soon.
‘He said in the last update,” said Bartinowski. “I'm desperate to get out but I don't know when that will be.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for legal fees.
The mother is working with Senator Dianne Feinstein's office, who said they cannot discuss his case due to privacy concerns.