Agent assaulted at Vt-Canada border

07/07/08 5:50PM By Charlotte Albright

A US Border Patrol Officer fired shots early this morning at three people who were spotted about a quarter mile away from the Canadian border in a wooded area near Derby Line.

VPR's Charlotte Albright has more.

(Albright) Homeland Security spokesman Mark Henry isn't divulging many details about the early morning fracas. He won't name either the border patrol officer who fired the shots, nor the people he was pursuing.  But Henry says the officer pulled his gun after a conversation turned nasty:

(Henry)  One of our border patrol agents was on patrol, observed three people in the Baxter Avenue area, approached to speak to them, while he was speaking with the people one of them assaulted him, knocked him down to the ground, assaulted him in a manner that put the agent in fear for his life.

(Albright)  Additional border patrols and the Newport police were called in. The three tried to flee, but one was captured in Vermont, the other in Canada.  Neither of them was wounded. The third is at large.

Henry says it's not uncommon for patrol officers to question people they see near the border-especially at night, on foot, in the middle of a field.  He says weapons are usually not involved.

However, he says, there have been two other border incidents involving gunfire over the last few months, one in Alburg, and another in Malone, New York.

The Border Patrol is now investigating whether the three people were crossing illegally, and whether they were carrying contraband items.

For VPR News, I'm Charlotte Albright.

 

 

 

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