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FBI says woman escapes custody, runs into nearby protest

Posted at 2:17 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 17:16:59-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Federal authorities said today that a woman who fled federal custody and ran into a crowd of protesters was later taken to a hospital after she became distressed during the confrontation.

The incident occurred Saturday in the 220 block of West C Street near the gate into the Western Region Detention Center. The woman's escape and the following confrontation between federal agents and protesters was captured on video and widely shared on social media, garnering over 15,000 views as of Monday.

According to the San Diego office of the FBI, the woman -- who was arrested on suspicion of dealing methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl -- opened the rear passenger door of an unmarked car while handcuffed.

She then allegedly ran into a nearby crowd that was protesting police brutality. Agents pursued the woman and regained custody, while the crowd of protesters surrounded the agents and the woman, the FBI reported.

Protesters then confronted the two agents who pursued the woman, officials said. Video recording shows a crowd of around 50 protesters attempting to separate the woman from the FBI agents by pulling at her and the agents, until the woman becomes distressed and suffers a seizure.

Protesters then encircled the woman and blocked the agents from her. A member of the protesting group designated as a medic then assists the woman, according to the video.

The two agents, who wore civilian clothes, walked back to their car near the San Diego jail and called for medical assistance, the federal authorities reported.

Paramedics responded to the scene along with a large police presence, which separated protesters from the woman. She was then taken to a local hospital, the FBI said.

According to federal investigators, the woman's initial arrest was not related to the nearby protest. She had been arrested by the San Diego

County Sheriff's Department on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute meth, heroin and fentanyl to a 2019 federal gang and narcotics case. The FBI has opened an investigation into the incident.