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Police investigate man's death while in custody at border crossing

February 17, 2013 |  9:52 am


San Diego police are investigating the death of a 51-year-old man who collapsed while being detained at the San Ysidro border crossing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

The man and two relatives had just driven across the border from Mexico when they were detained Saturday for inspection, according to Lt. Ernie Herbert of the police department homicide unit.

During the inspection, the man, who was not identified, was handcuffed and taken into a security office, Herbert said. After the handcuffs were removed, he was ordered to empty his pockets.

"As he placed items on a counter, he collapsed," Herbert said. An agent began resuscitation efforts. The man was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after 9 p.m.

The agents "did not use any force on the suspect when taking him into custody or transporting him," Herbert said. An autopsy is pending. The lead agent was identified only as a two-year veteran of Customs and Border Protection.


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Photo: The San Ysidro border checkpoint entering the U.S. from Mexico. Credit: Los Angeles Times