An investigation was underway Monday into the death of a man who collapsed and died during a scuffle with Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The confrontation began around 9:15 p.m. Sunday, when the 61-year-old U.S. citizen tried to enter the United States by walking through exit doors in a pedestrian-processing area at the border station, according to San Diego police.
When security personnel approached the traveler and directed him toward the entrance to the facility, he was uncooperative and got into a struggle with them, San Diego Police Department Lt. Andra Brown said.
After being detained and taken to a holding cell, the man began having difficulty breathing and became unresponsive, Brown said.
CBP personnel and paramedics tried in vain to revive the man, whose name was withheld pending family notification, before pronouncing him dead at the scene.
The county Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of the man’s death. As is standard in such cases, SDPD homicide detectives will investigate the circumstances of the fatality, and their conclusions will be analyzed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“The investigation and review process for an in-custody death is extremely thorough,” Brown said.
The federal customs agency also will investigate the fatality, according to CBP officials.
“Per CBP policy, the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility will review the incident,” the agency asserted in a prepared statement. “The care of individuals in CBP custody is paramount, and we are committed to the health and safety of those in our custody.”
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