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2 Mexican nationals flushed from an IID canal after pursuit

June 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Two Mexican nationals who were among a group of undocumented immigrants who led county Sheriff's office deputies on a pursuit Monday were flushed out of a canal — literally.

The pursuit started at 3:16 p.m. near Rutherford and Brandt roads just west of Brawley after a deputy saw a car with a broken windshield and attempted to stop it.

Sheriff's Deputy Justin Tackett said the driver did not stop and led deputies on a 15-minute high-speed pursuit on county roads.

Tackett said the car crashed into a telephone poll near Boarts and Krueger roads in the Westmorland area and two people in the vehicle fled.

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The two, one of whom was reported to be the driver, jumped into an Imperial Irrigation District cement ditch filled with water.

Tackett said the two remained under water holding their breath in an attempt to avoid arrest.

IID staffers responded and opened flood gates to the ditch. Tackett said the two were flushed out by the water and deputies took them into custody.

The suspected driver, a 15-year-old from Mexico, was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, destruction of property and resisting arrest. The second man was arrested for resisting arrest, also a Mexican national.

The two were booked into county jail. Information about their bail was unavailable this morning.

Tackett said there were five other people in the car, all of whom were taken into custody. He said all were thought to be undocumented immigrants.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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