Border Patrol agents shattered a driver’s window at a checkpoint in Pine Valley, Calif., when he apparently refused to cooperate with law enforcement officials or consent to a warrantless search of his vehicle. The driver was then removed from his car and put in handcuffs.
The man in the video claims he was stopped at an “internal” Border Patrol checkpoint, meaning inside the United States and not on the U.S.-Mexico border, on May 31. However, the exact location of the checkpoint has not yet been confirmed.
(Scroll down for update)
He says he refused to roll the window down or talk to Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint, clearly bringing suspicion upon himself from law enforcement officials.
The man in the video, who was apparently taking photos to document the incident, then claims a German shepherd drug dog was dispatched to inspect his car. He says the dog detected no drugs in his car but detected 42 grams of marijuana in the car next to him.
After consulting with other law enforcement officials, including the Sheriff’s office, video shows the Border Patrol smashing the driver’s front window and remove him from the car.
Watch the video below:
Judging from the mounted camera in his car, it seems that the man in the video may have specifically sought out the checkpoint to videotape his resistance to the procedure.
While the tactics of individuals who apparently seek out checkpoints to antagonize law enforcement officials have been criticized, police officers have also come under scrutiny for losing their cool and at times potentially crossing the line with potential suspects who are uncooperative or disrespectful.
Here is a close-up shot of the window-smashing:
TheBlaze has reached out to the Border Patrol station in Pine Valley, Calif., to get their side of the story as well as additional details about the incident. This story will be updated if they get back to us.
We have asked Border Patrol the following questions:
- Is refusing to comply with Border agents and/or police at a checkpoint probable cause to search an individual’s vehicle?
- Is refusing to comply with Border agents and/or police at a checkpoint probable cause to break an individual’s window to gain entry to the vehicle?
- Did the drug dog on site indicate the individual in the car was transporting narcotics?
- Was the individual in the vehicle ever hostile or give officers a reason to suspect he was dangerous?
- Were any drugs ultimately found on the individual or in his car?
- Has he been charged with any crimes?
We have also reached out to the individual who appears to be the original uploader of the video on YouTube. Stay tuned for updates.
Watch more video of the incident below:
UPDATE 12:06 p.m. ET: The man in the video has identified himself as Robert Trudell of Yuma, Ariz.
He told TheBlaze in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he was detained for 10 hours by Border Patrol agents following the incident outlined in our original story.
“The event started in Pine Valley, California, at 12:35 in the afternoon and I was released on foot in the city of El Cajon, California at 10:30 p.m. that night by two plain clothes agents driving an unmarked black Dodge Charger,” Trudell explained. “The agents placed a brown paper bag in the parking lot which contained my shoelaces, ID and credit cards along with asset forfeiture receipts for my computers, cameras, car, phone and glasses.”
Trudell said a law enforcement official read him a charge about not complying with an order back at the detention facility. However, he claims he received nothing in writing about any official charges against him. “There is no official charge that I am aware of,” he said.
Revealing his side of the story, Trudell told us the drug dog dispatched to sniff around his vehicle turned up no hits for narcotics. He also said police found no drugs in the car or on him when they removed him from his vehicle after shattering the window.
“I was never aggressive with the agents or officers,” he added.
Trudell told TheBlaze he has gone through the checkpoint many times with the intention of recording the procedure, but other times has been forced to go through the checkpoint to get somewhere. His YouTube channel has several videos of him going through checkpoints while refusing to cooperate with law enforcement.
Trudell said he was on his way to film a senior table tennis tournament in Laguna Woods, Calif., when this particular incident with Border Patrol occurred.
Border Patrol in Pine Valley, Calif., has yet to reply to messages left by TheBlaze.
(H/T: Ben Howe)
This story has been updated.
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