FBI San Diego
Special Agent Davene Butler
(858) 320-1800
September 7, 2020

FBI San Diego Statement Regarding 9/5/2020 Incident in Downtown San Diego

SAN DIEGO—On September 5, 2020, two FBI agents took custody of a woman who was arrested by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department based on an outstanding federal arrest warrant for felony charges including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl related to a 2019 federal gang and narcotics case.

The agents were in the process of attempting to enter the Western Region Detention Center, located at 220 West C Street, San Diego, California, to process her into the facility pending her initial appearance. While waiting at the gate of the facility, the woman exited the rear passenger door and escaped from the vehicle.

The agents pursued her into a large crowd of individuals who were participating in an unrelated protest at Front and B Streets, near the San Diego County Jail, approximately a half block from the law enforcement entry to the Western Region Detention Center. The agents regained contact with the woman and attempted to walk back to the vehicle but were immediately surrounded by the crowd.

Individuals began to actively interfere with the agents' lawful authority to take the woman into custody by pulling at the agents and the woman.

During the incident, the woman appeared to become distressed and an individual began to render aid. The crowd then encircled the woman and physically blocked the agents' access to take custody of the woman or otherwise assist her.

Based on the size of the crowd and their response to the two law enforcement agents, the agents returned to their vehicle in order to deescalate the situation and request additional assistance. The agents remained at the scene and coordinated the transport of the woman to a local hospital for further evaluation. The FBI has opened an investigation into the matter.