Retired Chula Vista police officer Donald Lumb is accusing Customs and Border Protection agents stationed at a checkpoint on Interstate 8 east of Pine Valley of attacking him, then arresting him on false charges of assault.
According to a Courthouse News Service report Lumb’s lawyer says Lumb spent time working with the Border Patrol and was involved in the apprehension of over 1500 undocumented migrants. The complaint says Lumb approached the westbound stop one morning in November 2013 while taking his fiancée's son to school.
Agent Alejandro Martinez, after questioning the pair about their citizenship, allegedly refused to let them pass, instead walking around and peering into Lumb's vehicle. When Lumb identified himself as a former law-enforcement officer and demanded a supervisor, Martinez's boss Pete Burgos approached, told Lumb that no wrong had been committed, and ordered his vehicle into secondary inspection.
As Lumb stood beside his vehicle and waited to be searched, he was ordered back into his vehicle. But before he could comply, he was "sprayed with a chemical agent. Lumb was shoved from behind and slammed against the car, and then slammed to the ground."
Lumb, who retired from the police force on medical disability, says he was assaulted by as many as four or five agents while on the ground, doused with water that caused the chemical agent to run down into his eyes, swelling them shut, then forced to wait an hour and a half before sheriff's deputies transported him to Pine Valley on charges of assaulting a federal agent. After being denied access to a phone, he was eventually fingerprinted and released on $25,000 bond later in the evening.
Per the Courthouse News report, "The City of Chula Vista revoked Lumb's concealed carry permit because of the incident. At an administrative hearing on the matter, Burgos acknowledged that he was unsure whether Lumb had actually committed a crime or whether the Border Patrol had the authority to arrest him, according to the complaint."
Lumb is seeking punitive damages for various charges, including "civil rights violations, retaliation, negligent supervision, excessive force and unlawful detainment."