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  5. Nov. 29, 2018 - Use of Force Incident in Campo, California

Nov. 29, 2018 - Use of Force Incident in Campo, California

On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 2018, the Campo Border Patrol Station received a call from a concerned citizen regarding two vehicles that had broken through a gate and illegally crossed the border in Campo, California.

A responding U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agent spotted one of the vehicles, a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, getting on Interstate 8 (I-8) eastbound.  The agent attempted to stop the vehicle (by using his emergency lights and siren), but the driver refused to stop.  The driver instead proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic, and passing other vehicles on the shoulder and median in an attempt to escape.  Several other marked USBP vehicles also attempted to stop the vehicle during the course of the pursuit without success.   

As the pursuit continued, the pursuing agents reported that the pickup truck had exited I-8 east and got back on I-8 heading west.  Realizing that his vehicle could not catch up to the pickup truck, a USBP supervisor on scene cut across the center median of the highway and positioned himself next to I-8 west, approximately two miles ahead of the pickup truck now heading in his direction.  At this location, the supervisor prepared to deploy a Controlled Tire Deflation Device (CTDD).CTDDs are specialized devices whose deployment results in the controlled deflation of a vehicle tire.

As the fleeing pickup truck approached his position, the supervisor deployed the CTDD across one lane of the roadway.  The driver swerved in an attempt to avoid the CTDD, but the truck ran over it anyway.  The pickup truck then continued for a short distance at a high rate of speed before it veered to the right to avoid another vehicle, hit a road sign, traveled up the embankment, rolled over several times and came to rest on the passenger’s side in the middle of the highway.

In addition to driver and the two passengers that were visible in the cab of the pickup truck, eight additional subjects had been concealed in the bed under a plastic tarp (and were not visible to the agents during the pursuit).  None of the passengers were wearing seatbelts and all ten were ejected from the vehicle in the crash.  Three passengers died at the scene from their injuries, and the seven others were taken to the hospital.  The driver was wearing a seatbelt and was not seriously injured.

The driver stated that he knew he was being pulled over by marked law enforcement vehicles but fled because the smugglers told him to not stop for anything, including law enforcement.  The driver later pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular manslaughter and six counts of reckless driving with injury.

Result of the NUFRB

On April 8, 2021, the CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) convened to review this use of force incident.  The NUFRB determined that the deployment of the CTDD was in compliance with CBP use of force policy in effect at the time of the incident.

NUFRB Recommendations

The NUFRB made no formal recommendations following their consideration of this incident.

Incident Date
Last Modified: Oct 05, 2022