American Teacher Held in Ukraine Says Russians Thought He Was a Spy Based Off James Bond Legend

Tyler Jacob, 28, was detained by Russian forces for 10 days after trying to flee the war-torn country. He spoke to Inside Edition after arriving back in the U.S.

An American teacher detained by the Russians in Ukraine for 10 harrowing days is speaking out after arriving home in the U.S. Tyler Jacob, 28, fled the city of Kherson, where he lives with his Ukrainian wife.

He was arrested at a border crossing, just as he thought he was safely leaving Ukraine in a bus packed with other refugees. 

“They all thought I was a spy and wanted to do lie detector tests and stuff on me, because there's a Russian legend that 007, or James Bond, his cover story was an English teacher,” Jacob told Inside Edition.

He was questioned for hours every day before the Russians became convinced he was not a spy. The heartwarming reunion with his mom in Minnesota was captured on video.

“I got here and just knocked on the door, and she didn't expect me to be there. And she opens the door and goes 'What the,’” Reed said.

He says the first thing he did on U.S. soil was buy a coke.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden met with the parents of Trevor Reed, a 29-year-old who has been imprisoned for years in Russia, the Associated Press reported.

The meeting came after Paula and Joey Reed traveled to the Capitol to seek an in-person meeting with the president. 

“We’re not going to stop fighting for him. We’re fighting for his life, basically. We’re desperate,” Paula said outside the White House earlier Wednesday.

Reed, who has tuberculosis and a fractured rib, is serving a 9-year prison sentence for assault, but officials say the charges are questionable. 

“They're not doing any medical treatment whatsoever, so we're really concerned about his health,” Paula said.

Three weeks ago, Biden saw the Reeds holding signs as his motorcade passed by in Fort Worth, Texas. He reached out by phone and promised to meet with them at a later date.

Related Stories