JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)  – A 19-year-old who grew up in central Missouri is among the American students arrested during protests in Egypt.

Joy Sweeney, of Jefferson City, Mo., said Tuesday that her 19-year-old son Derrik Sweeney had been arrested and that she is praying for his safety.

The mother says she hasn’t spoken with her son but has been in contact with the U.S. Embassy and officials at Georgetown University and the American University in Cairo.

Joy Sweeney says her son has been in Egypt since August. She says her son was the peacemaker in the family while growing up, and she doesn’t believe reports that Derrik threw firebombs at Egyptian security forces during the protests.

“I don’t believe that he would intentionally throw a bomb at anyone,” Joy Sweeney said. “I don’t believe that.”

Sweeney said her son had previously worked as an intern for Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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