Oregon man stuck in the Dominican Republic after misunderstandin - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon man stuck in the Dominican Republic after misunderstanding

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John Ekman and Lori Breeden John Ekman and Lori Breeden
BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A Beaverton man said he is terrified and heartbroken after spending two days in jail in a foreign country after what he said was a big misunderstanding.

John Ekman was on vacation with his partner, Lori Breeden, in the Dominican Republic. Ekman said they were driving to their vacation home when they hit a motorcycle that was laying in the middle of the freeway.

They found people standing and looking at the motorcycle, and Ekman said they realized the rider of the bike had been killed right before they arrived.

Ekman said there were two other cars with witnesses and they left the scene.

When police showed up, they arrested Ekman believing he was involved in the deadly crash.

"It was a pretty horrific experience. I've never been in jail anywhere in my life," said Ekman.

"To see John in that cell...I had to beg them to let me see him. It was almost primal the fear that something was going to happen to him while he was there," said Breeden.

Ekman said he was stuck in jail for two nights, the first night was in a single cell with other inmates.

"If I could describe this jail cell, it's just a concrete box with barred windows and a barred door and just smelled of urine. There was no bathroom in there. We had to urinate in a bottle and pour it out the window," said Ekman.

Ekman said the U.S. Embassy showed up the next day and helped get him transferred to another jail for the second night. He said he was then let out on $4,500 U.S. bail, but the judge took away his passport.

Ekman was told it could take 6 months for police to investigate. He won't be able to leave without a passport.

They have reached out to both Senator Merkley and Wyden, and both offices told him they would help if they can.

Ekman said the U.S. Embassy told him he is subject to Dominican law and will have to see how the process plays out.

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