Crowd Jumps from Panga Near Ocean Beach

One witness called it the "weirdest" thing ever seen

By Monica Dean and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Apr 16, 2012  |  Updated 2:46 PM PDT
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Crowd Jumps from Panga Near Ocean Beach

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Several suspected illegal immigrants were arrested early Monday after a panga landed ashore in Ocean Beach.

Witnesses told U.S. Border Patrol agents that a crowd of more than 15 people got out of the boat when it landed around 1:30 a.m.

The crowd made their way into Ocean Beach’s downtown and attempted to evade arrest, according to officials. All of the individuals from the boat were apprehended.

San Diego lifeguards, police and border patrol agents all responded to the situation and a police helicopter assisted officers from above.

At one point officers had several suspects lined up, on their stomachs in the sand.

"The police officers told them to stop but none of them really stopped they kind of just got tackled,” Tyler Russo told NBCSanDiego. “One of the elderly was hiding in the rocks and didn't get tackled."

"It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen,” Taylor McDonald said. “There was like a bunch of them... [they] walked straight up toward the bars and stuff like nothing was wrong."

All 15 arrested were Mexican nationals and two of the men are suspected to be the main smugglers, according to officials. The boat has been towed and the incident is still under investigation.
 

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