Bainbridge Man Jailed in India, Family Pleads For Help Getting Him Home
The life of Bainbridge native William Michael Hurtubise was drastically changed on September 18, 2013 while visiting India where he was arrested and where he sits in jail to this day.
While William’s family hasn’t yet issued an official statement, they have explained the situation a bit through the Bring William Michael Hurtubise Facebook page.
William is employed as an engineer with STX Service and was sent to India for work on September 16th. William is an avid hunter and fisherman and it appears he made a mistake and forgot to check his bag before leaving for India. According to his family, William made it through U.S. customs at Houston International Airport, traveled through Holland to New Delhi, India. From there he was going to board a helicopter to go out on a job when his bag was checked by hand. This is when they found 8 rounds of .22 ammunition in his bag. William was immediately arrested and taken into custody in India.
Monday, September 30th, was William's birthday and his family tried calling him but got no answer. They then called his work and were then informed he was, and had been, in jail in India since September 18th. Can you imagine finding out this way that someone you love is in jail?
William’s family says that they’ve had no direct contact with him and understandably, are very worried. William's family says they’ve heard some very concerning information about his conditions, but won't elaborate any further. They also claim that much of the information shared on Indian websites concerning William isn't complete truth.
Because of legal issues, there isn’t much more the family can say at this point, but they are asking for our help in contacting officials so that they become aware of William’s story. However, this is where it gets a little dicey. According to the Times of India, an Indian official who spoke with representatives from the American Citizen Services, a unit of the US consulate, is quoted as saying: "according to their rule, the US government cannot get any arrested US citizen in India out of jail. Nor can they post bail, act as legal advisor or pay legal fees for their citizens." Whether this is true or not that the US consulate in India is unable to help, I'm not sure, but it makes me sad to think that it might be and to think of the heartache William's family is going through right now. Whether what William did was right or wrong, this is their son, brother, friend who's being held in a foreign country and they've not been allowed contact with them.
William has been quoted by several news sources as telling police in India: “I have no bad intention. It was a mistake on my part.” William also told police he possesses an arm license in the US and unknowingly carried the bullets.
William's family promises me that as soon as they issue a formal statement, they'll share it with me so that I can pass it along to you.