A man, woman and their 4-year-old boy at an unidentified Inland Border Patrol checkpoint are ordered and pulled from their vehicle, questioned and taken into custody – all for the seeming offense of refusing to say where they were headed.
A video of the incident, recorded by the family’s dashboard camera, opens with the man and woman chit-chatting with their son in the back, later identified as 4, and pulling up to a border checkpoint. The man, who’s driving, has his window a third of the way down.
The uniformed agent says: “How are you, where are you going to today?”
And the man’s response: “I’m sorry, sir. I don’t have to answer that question.”
The exchange is repeated, and then the agent orders the man to park to the side.
“For what?” the man asks. “For what?”
The video, mounted on the car dashboard, shows the agent reaching into the man’s open window.
“Get your hands out of my car,” the man says. “Get your hands out of my car.”
The man then pushes the agent’s arm out the window, while the agent opens the door.
The man’s response?
“This is assault,” he says. “What is your reasonable suspicion?”
The agent then asks for the man’s citizenship, and he responds: “That I will [answer]. I’m a United States citizen.”
The agent asks the same question to the woman, who affirms she’s a U.S. citizen, too.
The agent then proceeds to ask a series of questions: “That your son in the back? You have anything illegal in the trunk? … Pop the trunk.”
The man tells the agent, “no, you cannot look,” and makes clear, “I do not consent to any searches or seizures.” He also asks the agent once more: “What is your reasonable suspicion?”
That’s when the agent tells him to put the car in park and “step out of the vehicle.”
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The man once again asks for the agent’s “reasonable suspicion.” The video then shows the agent grabbing the man’s arm and wrestling him to remove him from vehicle, twisting his hand and arm in the process.
The man: “Dude what is your problem? I’ve got to unbuckle my seatbelt. … You’re being recorded.”
The agent says he’s aware of the camera and the man says, “Good. I’m going to sue the [expletive] out of you.”
The agent: “I’m not doing anything against policy.”
The camera then shows the man being pushed against the side of the vehicle, ordered to spread legs, while his son cries in the car. Another agent on the scene says to the man: “You brought this on yourself.”
The man’s escorted away while another agent gets in the driver’s seat of the car and tells the woman to keep her hands on the dashboard while he moves the vehicle to the side.
The woman at that point breaks down in tears and says, “My God, I’m coming back from a doctor’s appointment.”
And the agent says: “Is there any medication in the vehicle?”
The woman: “There might be because I just came from the doctor.”
The agent says something incomprehensible and then adds: “Your husband put us in this bind. Okay, step out.”
He tries to order the child out of the car, but the boy cries uncontrollably and he lets the woman remove him instead. The video wraps with the woman, using a cane, following the agents with her child in tow, saying: “I’ve never been arrested.”
The agent who moved the car, meanwhile, grabs the car keys from the vehicle and turns off the dashboard camera.
PINAC News reported the man’s name as Rick Herbert and the date and place of the incident as March 12 at a checkpoint 35 miles north of El Centro, just east of San Diego.