Dan’s Fishing Trip with the Out of Control Border Patrol

“Hey, I didn't have time to tell you about my fishing trip with Dave!” Dave and I are best friends, we have lived in San Diego for over fifteen years and both served in the armed services. Here is a story of our boat trip that happed just a few days ago on Monday the 24 of October 2011 in San Diego California. Dave and I were returning from a Monday morning fishing trip to the kelp beds when we were detained and handcuffed by the border patrol for no apparent reason.

So the day started off good, it was a Monday, overcast and cool, with a thick mist, perfect fishing weather, the sea was calm and there were very few boaters on the water, it was six am. Unfortunately, or as usual, my boat wouldn't start. After trouble shooting for an hour I determined it had a week spark. I replaced the ignition coil and cleaned the corroded wires going into the coil. Once the parts were cleaned and installed the engine fired right up and we departed the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot boat ramp. Our destination was the kelp beds just north of Ballast Point off Point Loma. My biggest worry at this point was our fishing license location and if I could figure out how to plot the new MLPA fishing boundaries on my GPS.

As we are heading out, Dave is telling me about how he was stopped at the border patrol checkpoint near Jacumba as he headed west to San Diego. He was telling me how they used dogs to search my old truck he was driving. I just laughed and said, “Dave, isn’t your landlord a Border Patrol agent?” He laughed too and said, “Don’t get me started, I’m a Native American, half Apache and half American, with 20 years of military service and I can’t even get a passport!”.

After six hours of good fishing it was now about 2pm and we headed in, with one decent size fish and about ten Mackerel, we decided we had better get in so Dave could make his VA appointment.

Just as we were passing the San Diego Harbor Island Fuel dock and doing all of 5 mph in a no wake zone, the U.S. Border Patrol came towards us planning at a high rate of speed with blue lights flashing.

Over the sound of the engines, and the waves I heard them say something about they wanted to check us and our boat, well, it’s happened before, Homeland Security checked us last year, and so has the harbor patrol, and so has the Department of Fish and Game. I just stood back and said, "What- ever", and tried to remember where I had left the boat registration and my wallet, for sure they'd be asking for it, and besides Dave’s driving, he can handle it.

With two strokes and bad hearing, Dave always talks loud and sloppy even when things are calm, he starts asking the Border Patrol in a loud voice what’s going on?....They in turn immediately start telling him to calm down, well, I didn't think Dave was acting excited he always yells, hell, he's half deaf, after twenty years as a tank commander in the USMC and the Army, his hearing is bad, and don't ask him about anything specific, after two stokes, he is a very poor historian, but a hell of a lot of fun to take fishing.

A few minutes later they towed us to the fuel dock and had me get off the boat and walk me to the end of the fuel dock. As I'm standing there, watching the other boats go by this Border Patrol agent suddenly tells me to turn around and handcuffs me and says it’s for "Officer Safety", then I see Dave trying to struggle to walk across the border patrol boat to the dock with his hands cuffed and agents pulling his arms. I could see one slip and Dave won’t have any teeth, so I start to yell, "Hey! be-careful with my friend, he has a medical condition, he has two strokes, two knee replacements and.....I couldn't finish my sentence about his back surgery as the agents started yelling at me, "Hey you shut up!".

While the Border Patrol is searching the boat another agent comes up to me and says, "Has there ever been a warrant out for your arrest? " I say, "No", a few minutes later he returns and says in the most demeaning manner, "Yes, in the past there was a warrant for your arrest", at this point I'm getting angry, and I said, "What for?", he doesn't answer me and walks off."

So for about forty five minutes or so I'm standing there at the end of the fuel dock with a life jacket on in hand cuffs, a spectacle for all the other boaters to drive by and stare at, humiliating at the least. I worked seventy-two hours last week to save up enough money for this trip, the boat is legal, we have current fishing licenses, safety gear is all over the boat, my boat is safe and legal, and I’m standing here in hand-cuffs. What are the chances that two guys with current military ID cards and who keep their boat in the same boat storage area on a federal base are illegal aliens? These agents are being ridiculous, the Border Patrol agents stopping us are either inept or out of control, my boat is even dry-docked at the same place as theirs!

So that was yesterdays fishing trip. I'm pretty angry about being handcuffed; never before in my life have I ever been handcuffed, and neither has my friend Dave. He is 54 and obese, and I’m 47 and not in shape either. We both understand "random boat checks", since we have been stopped and checked by the Harbor Patrol, Homeland Security and the Department of Fish and Game (In fact all my boat documents and my ID are laminated with plastic just so it would be easier to show them), but the Border patrol is out of control. As a last note, just as we were leaving, I noticed one of the four or five border patrol agents didn't have his bullet proof vest on and I sarcastically said, "Hey you better put on your bullet proof vest". The agent looks at me, perks up, and yells, "Are you threatening me?" He just confirmed my suspicion these guys are out of control. I’ve been boating in San Diego since 1971 and it will only be a matter of time before their cockiness and willingness to inflate a situation gets someone killed. I have already witness high speed passes by Department of Home Security’s boat so close to my boat, that had I had divers in the water, it could have been potentially fatal and we all know how the US Coast Guard ran over and killed that year old boy less than two years ago. What is it going to take to get these overzealous security forces in control? San Diego Harbor is either the safest, or dangerous harbor in the world, we have the US navy, the US Coast Guard, Customs & Border Patrol, Homeland Security, and the Department of Fish and Game, all carrying guns and speeding around in 800-1000hp speed boats looking for someone to bust. I’m just glad my twelve year old son wasn’t on board as the inept mf*s searched my boat and humiliated me.

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Ponzi Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:34 a.m.

The Federal Government has become completely out of control. This is not the America we grew up in. It is becoming a totalitarian state. People can no longer protest or demand justice because we are living in a police state.


Twister Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:40 p.m.

It's been out of control for decades. The one percent gives goons badges; they don' need no #u(& CONSTITUTION! We have never been arrested either, but have been abused by the Border Patrol, the Harbor Police, the SDPD, and other "officials." We say nothing. Stay small!

I guess I'm lucky that my Native American Blood is hidden behind pale European genes or I would have been even more her-assed by Capitan Jesus Flores y Domingo tambien.

Next time, turn on your tiny recording machine, take pictures, especially of witnesses, and call 911. They HAVE to keep the recordings. Consult a lawyer and the ACLU.


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