Saturday, October 4, 2008

ICE escapee to be deported (Frederick News-Post)

ICE escapee to be deported
Originally published October 04, 2008

By Gina Gallucci-White
News-Post Staff

A man who escaped custody from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Aug. 12 will be deported back to his native El Salvador.

In a Sept. 23 agreement, Darwin Antonio Pineda-Medrano, 22, agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor escape charge in exchange for time served and a supervised year-long release, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. After sentencing, he will be transferred back to ICE's custody for deportation.

On Aug. 12, Pineda-Medrano was stopped by police in Maryland for a traffic violation, the document states.

He had previously been arrested for entry without inspection by the United States Border Patrol on June 21, 2002, and had been sentenced to be deported on Sept. 16, 2002, but he did not show up.

When officers discovered the final order during the traffic stop, Pineda-Medrano was arrested, placed in the custody of an ICE agent and taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, according to federal documents. While the ICE vehicle was stopped at the center's gate about 9:15 p.m., he escaped from the vehicle and ran away.

Pineda-Medrano ran behind a wall. An ICE officer drew his weapon because he feared the 22-year-old had obtained a weapon, according to an ICE incident report. When the officer found him, he was hanging from a three story bridge planning to jump. Pineda-Medrano had freed one of his hands from handcuffs and the officer grabbed the loose cuff to try and get him into custody.

"With (the officer's) weapon still in his right hand and his left hand grabbing the loose cuff which was now entangled with his hand, the weapon discharged," the report states.

The bullet did not hit anyone and Pineda-Medrano was able to slip out of the officer's grip, jump off the bridge and run into a wooded area near a waste treatment facility, the report states. He was apprehended a short time later.

The Frederick News-Post obtained the incident report Friday through a Freedom of Information Act request. The name of the 37-year-old officer was redacted from the released report but stated he had five years of experience as a federal officer.

The escape charge was filed in federal court Sept. 8 and Pineda-Medrano, through an interpreter, initially pleaded not guilty on Sept. 12.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled yet, according to court records. A request for a date was made Sept. 23, when the plea agreement was made.

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