Man who shot video of Border Patrol arrest of undocumented worker arrested

Border Patrol claims no excessive force was used

SAN DIEGO - The man who shot cell phone video showing a Border Patrol agent struggling to arrest an undocumented worker has been arrested. Family members and his attorney are demanding answers and wondering whether the arrest was in retaliation for sharing the video with 10News.

Jose Guzman said he shot the video because he believed the Border Patrol agent went too far when he was arresting the man.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Mitra Ebadolahi agreed.  

"I think this is a classic example of what we call excessive use of force in its literal definition," said Ebadolahi. "The force is excessive, it's uncalled for."

After the incident, Border Patrol agents went to Guzman's home demanding the video.  Because he is a parolee, he agreed to hand it over without a search warrant. His girlfriend says he refused to help agents locate a second undocumented worker who got away.

"They asked him to call the guy and ask him where he lives, I think, like to kind of set him up," said Erica Garcia, who told 10News Guzman did not want to get involved in helping authorities arrest his coworker. "So they got upset because he wouldn't do it, and they told him he can go to jail for helping the other guy."

Two days later, Garcia says Guzman got a call from his probation officer, telling him the GPS ankle bracelet he is required to wear was not working properly. When Guzman went in to have the device checked, he was arrested. 

"I just hope they let him go because it's not fair," she said.

10News contacted Guzman's attorney, who said he will ask for an immediate hearing to get answers about his client's arrest. Peter Liss said he wants to see if there is any legal basis for putting Guzman in jail.

When asked about Guzman's arrest, the ACLU attorney said, "It seems odd to me that he would be arrested or taken in for any reason relating to his desire not to be involved."

Ebadolahi also expressed concerns about Border Patrol agents intimidating and coercing people with evidence involving apparent misconduct by their agency.

The Border Patrol's assistant chief told 10News their agency had nothing to do with Guzman's arrest.

Pete Vasquez also denies any excessive force was used. 

Vasquez told 10News the undocumented worker punched the Border Patrol agent several times before he was hit with a stun gun and still did not stop struggling even after he was on the ground.

"What the video doesn't really show as you're looking at the individual's back, you can't see his hands, what he's really doing with his hands, and he is still actively resisting and trying to get up," he said. "If he wasn't actively resisting, he would be laying on his stomach, putting his hands behind his back like he was told to do."

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