Driver Refuses to Pull Over for Unmarked BP Agent, BP Says Right Decision - NBC Bay Area
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Driver Refuses to Pull Over for Unmarked BP Agent, BP Says Right Decision

Russell said the agent screamed at her from his window demanding her to pull over

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Unmarked BP Car Tries to Pull Woman Over

    California Highway Patrol told the woman she did the right thing by not pulling over. NBC 7's Danica McAdam explains why. (Published Saturday, May 25, 2019)

    A Campo, California woman said she was scared for her life when an unmarked vehicle with flashing lights and sirens blaring attempted to pull her over along Interstate 8 in Pine Valley.

    The incident happened on Wednesday between about 8:30 and 8:50 a.m. while Campo resident Rebecca Russel was driving to her job in Downtown San Diego.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents acknowledged the incident and said the unmarked officer was one of their Border Patrol agents.

    “I was on the phone with my boyfriend in my car and then I saw the flashing lights, but since the car wasn’t marked and the guy looked like a normal guy without a uniform, just wearing a rain jacket, I was scared and so my boyfriend, said to me, ‘Call 911!’” explained Russel.

    Russell said she has lived in the area for about 15 years and has never seen or heard of an incident like this despite seeing plenty of Border Patrol agents in the area.

    “I was really scared because here I am breaking the law by not pulling over, but I also don’t trust this guy is a real Border Patrol agent,” she said.

    Russell said the agent screamed at her from his window demanding her to pull over. He followed her for about 15 to 20 miles going 60 to 65 mph, but Russel refused to pull over.

    “I was scared but the 911 operator told me to stay calm and just keep driving,” she said.

    The problem was she was driving on the highway, and the weather was bad.

    “It was raining hard and the fog was low to the ground. The 911 operator kept asking me where I was and how fast I was traveling and to describe his vehicle and what he looked like as best I could…. She stayed on the phone with me the whole time,” she said.

    Finally, at Willows Road he exited.

    “I took another picture of his car before he exited, to try to get his license plate.”

    Russell spoke with a Border Patrol supervisor the next day and was told the driver of the unmarked car was indeed one of their agents, but told her she did the right thing by calling 911 because she did not trust him.

    CBP also confirmed with NBC 7 that the driver was a BP agent, but they did not say why he was chasing Russel in the first place. They did say their patrol agent stopped the chase after about 15 to 20 minutes after the agent lost radio communications with San Diego Sector Dispatch.

    CHP said if you do not feel safe being pulled over on the road, call 911, and if you cannot call 911, then put on your hazard lights to show the officer or agent that you are acknowledging them and even give them a wave and keep driving at the same safe speed until you find a public location to pull over.