LOS ANGELES - A teenager captured the moment federal immigration agents arrested her father Tuesday, as he was driving his daughter to school.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stopped 48 year-old Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez in the 3200 block of Pasadena Avenue Tuesday morning, en route to dropping his daughters off at Aademia Avance charter school in Los Angeles, according to ABC-affiliate KABC in Los Angeles.
The incident was captured on the cellphone belonging to one of his daughters, 13 year-old Fatima Avelica. Footage showed Avelica-Gonzalez being handcuffed and placed into an ICE vehicle, as one of his daughters cries in the background.
The footage has been shared thousands of times on social media:
Brenda Avelica, another of Avelica-Gonzalez's daughters, told KABC that her father had been living in the country for two decades.
"It's really hard what we're going through," Brenda Avelica said Thursday. "I never thought we'd actually go through something like this. It's terrible to feel and see your family being broken apart."
According to ICE, Avelica-Gonzalez was being arrested for "multiple prior criminal convictions, including a DUI in 2009."
ICE released the following statement to KABC:
Officers with one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Los Angeles-based Fugitive Operations teams took Mr. Avelica into custody Tuesday morning. Mr. Avelica was targeted for arrest because relevant databases indicate he has multiple prior criminal convictions, including a DUI in 2009, as well an outstanding order of removal dating back to 2014. After conducting surveillance to confirm his identity, the officers arrested Mr. Avelica during a vehicle stop in the 3200 block of Pasadena Avenue, approximately a half mile from the charter school described in the related social media post. No one else was detained during the vehicle stop. Mr. Avelica remains in ICE custody at this time.