PINE VALLEY, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents were forced to pursue a fleeing vehicle carrying five Mexican citizens early Wednesday morning at the near the Interstate 8 checkpoint.
At around 3:00 a.m. a group of five people, later determined to be Mexican Nationals, were observed walking northbound from the U.S. and Mexico international boundary in East County officials said. A male driver later determined to be a 27-year-old U.S. Citizen, picked up the five individuals in the Town of Boulevard. After witnessing the activity deemed suspicious, on-duty agents attempted to make contact with the driver. The driver refused to yield, causing the agents to pursue the vehicle onto the Interstate 8.
The driver, according to U.S. Border Patrol agents, attempted to ram the Border Patrol vehicle. Agents at the checkpoint ahead were alerted to the in-progress incident and deployed a spike strip at the checkpoint entrance. The driver passed over the spike strip at a high rate of speed, which flattened two tires. The driver continued on, refusing to stop driving approximately one additional mile.
The vehicle slowed and the occupants exited the vehicle while it continued to slowly move forward. An agent quickly stopped the moving SUV and the driver and five passengers were pursued by several other agents. The driver quickly turned, facing agents while brandishing a knife. Agents tased the driver in order to subdue him so that he could be handcuffed. The five Mexican nationals, all who entered the U.S. illegally were taken into custody without incident.
All six were taken to a nearby station for processing and the vehicle was seized by Border Patrol agents. The driver was taken into federal custody for human smuggling.
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