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Detainee with China connection raises concerns at Holding Center

Mike Desmond

The Erie County Sheriff's Department is grappling with the case of a man apprehended Wednesday by Customs at the Peace Bridge on his return from China. "We are taking these measures," said Public Information Officer Scott Zylka regarding the man who was taken from the Peace Bridge to the Holding Center.  "If things again turn the wrong way, it could become a bigger incident than it already is."

Kevin Qiu is wanted on a bench warrant in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Upon arrival to the Holding Center, he mentioned just having returned from China. Health precautions immediately kicked in. He was kept away from other residents and health authorities were called in.

The county health department listed Qiu as a "medium risk" for coming down with the coronavirus. Testing and care continues.

Qui, who is a naturalized American, told Acting State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia he was from a town 600 miles from the disease epicenter in Wuhan. He had flown from Beijing to Toronto, before being driven to the Peace Bridge where he was apprehended.

Zylka says his department is waiting for Chester County, Pennsylvania to decide how to retrieve Qiu.



Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.