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Video reportedly shows Border Patrol confrontation that led to illegal immigrant's death

June 9, 2010 |  1:02 pm

A video apparently showing a portion of the confrontation that led to the death of an illegal immigrant last month at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing has surfaced on the website of a Baja California newspaper.

In the raw video taken by a young man on his cellphone, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas yells for help as U.S. Border Patrol agents attempt to subdue him.

Hernandez was being removed from the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when he resisted and was eventually shot with a Taser stun gun, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Hernandez, 42, who had methamphetamine in his system, died of a heart attack, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office.

The footage, taken on the night of May 29, is grainy and dark; neither Hernandez nor the agents can be clearly seen. The young man who shot the video, according to the article in the Tijuana newspaper, Frontera, said Hernandez was handcuffed and lying on the ground, face down, during the encounter.

The incident occurred in a fenced area where U.S. agents regularly deport immigrants, handing them through a gate to their Mexican counterparts in Tijuana. There were several witnesses, including one woman who asked the agents in Spanish to stop.

The young man who shot the video asks a U.S. agent nearby why they’re using “excessive force.” The agent replies that it appears he’s not cooperating.

The incident, which is being investigated by the San Diego Police Department, has drawn protests from the Mexican government and immigrant rights groups.

Hernandez, a father of five, had lived in the U.S. since he was a teenager. He had recently been deported after an unspecified run-in with San Diego police and was trying to return to the country when he was arrested by U.S. agents.

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego