UCLA's Thrill-Seeking Chris Jeon Isn't Leaving Libya Just Yet, Correspondents Say
You always hope this doesn't happen to your kid.
It wasn't enough for UCLA's thrill-seeking Chris Jeon to go rock-climbing or huff paint. He wanted to pick up an AK-47 and join the Libyan rebellion. So he grabbed his Lakers jersey and bought a one-way ticket to Cairo — and perhaps foolhardy fame.
There were reports that the rebels didn't want him after all, but now some of the foreign correspondents stationed in Libya are saying that Jeon isn't leaving without a fight.
Bradley Hope, the foreign correspondent for an Australian paper The National who wrote the first profile of Jeon has been keeping his followers on Twitter abreast of Jeon's whereabouts. He sent out a tweet this morning:
Last we heard, he was still a celebrated mascot of the rebels, going from brigade to brigade. But info is hard to get
Hope has been asking rebels what they think about Jeon's mission and they told him this:
There was no sign of rebels being "fed up" with him. We talked to about five diff commanders and soldiers
It's anecdotal, but one guy made it sound like Jeon had been fully accepted:
And one guy, who had never met him, told us in all seriousness that Chris wasn't American anymore. "He's Libyan"
For a recap of Chris Jeon's background, the Atlantic Wire combed his Facebook account:
Jeon's Facebook profile shows a photo of him at what the LA Weekly identified as the Coachella music festival. He's also a Facebook fan of The Big 4 festival, which has Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax playing at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 14. So we can safely assume he's a rock fan and a festival goer. But the only artist he likes on Facebook is Michael Jackson, so go figure. His profile also shows he's a fan of Zhenya Tabakov, a Russian 7-year-old killed while trying to protect his sister from a rapist, and University of Fondwa, in Haiti, so it seems he has at least some global, social conscience. We're guessing he can handle himself in a fight, as he's a fan of Dynamix Martial Arts, a mixed martial arts studio, and LA Boxing. Also, he's a member of Texts From Last Night - UCLA, but unfortunately hasn't posted anything. According to his Facebook, Jeon is from Cypress, a suburb in Orange County just east of Long Beach. His Campus Buddy profile says he graduated in 2008 from Capistrano Valley High School, also in Orange County but further south, close to the San Diego County line.
Jeon's parents are probably freaking out right now, but they should be happy to know that at least he's wearing sunblock.