Two Canadian men who were detained in the Dominican Republic for nearly three weeks after a post-wedding fight broke out at a resort have returned to Toronto, the latest step in a drama that the wife of one of the men said was "like a scene from the movies."
Nick Miele, 34, and his cousin, Ben Constantini, 18, were taken into custody on May 28 after a fight at the Bahia Principe Esmeralda resort in Punta Cana. The pair, from Stoney Creek, Ont., were in the Dominican for Miele's destination wedding to Stacey Vernon.
Vernon has previously said the two men were thrown in jail unjustly after a fight broke out at their resort between Canadian men they didn't know.
Miele and Constantini were released from detention on Monday, and they landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Tuesday evening.
"I just want to go home, sleep in my own bed with my own pillow — it's just been a long road, it's been a long road," Miele said from the airport, where supporters had gathered to greet the two men in an emotional reunion.
"I couldn't have done it without my family, my friends and actually my fellow Canadians."
His wife said the whole experience was "like a scene from the movies."
"They just got ripped from our hands and it was a complete nightmare," Vernon said.
The men said conditions in the jail were unbearable.
"Ultimately he was in there three weeks too long for something that, you know what, we weren't a part of," said Angela Disalvo, the groom's sister. "So that should never have happened in the beginning."
Canadian consular staff stayed in touch with the family while they dealt with police in the Caribbean nation.
A statement released by the office of Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) Diane Ablonczy on Monday provided few specifics about how the legal issues had been resolved, but said the "two Canadian parties involved in an altercation in the Dominican Republic have found common ground in order to resolve their situation."
Details about the other party or parties involved in the clash haven't been released by foreign affairs officials, who cited privacy concerns.