Man Charged with Assaulting a Border Patrol Officer
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Felix Santos, 41, has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with assaulting an officer of the United States. The charge carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on June 15, 2014, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent was flagged down by an employee of the Sheraton Hotel on Third St. in Niagara Falls, New York. The employee indicated that he needed assistance because the defendant would not leave the premises of the hotel, despite being asked to do so multiple times.
Outside of the hotel, the uniformed border agent identified himself to Santos, who, according to the complaint, immediately began to shout at the border agent and hotel employee. The border agent asked the defendant to calm down and produce his residency paperwork. Santos turned over his documents to the border agent, who then returned to his vehicle to call dispatch and check the validity of the information.
Before the border agent could call dispatch, Santos approached the vehicle and continued shouting. The border agent told the defendant to leave the premises multiple times, and during one of those requests, Santos put his hands on the agent’s chest and pushed him. The border agent subdued Santos and placed him in handcuffs. The defendant was taken into custody by the Niagara Falls Police Department. The complaint further states that the border agent suffered a minor abrasion and a bruised knee.
The defendant made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy. He is being held pending a detention hearing on June 23, 2014.
The criminal complaint was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.