A confrontation between an undocumented immigrant and a U.S. Border Patrol agent happened just 20 feet from a group of students touring the Tijuana River Estuary.
The agent spotted a man attempting to hide in the brush near the Tijuana River Visitor Center and soon after, the men were involved in a confrontation in the slough, a U.S. Border Patrol official said.
The man swung at the agent and tried to strike him with a piece of wood but did not make contact, according to U.S. Border Patrol Public Affairs Officer Eduardo Olmos.
A woman who identified herself as Aundra said she was walking on the reserve trail with a group of 10-year-olds when they saw the officers with guns.
She said the confrontation occurred approximately 20 feet from the group of students but she ushered the children away quickly.
"As soon as I saw them all coming, I had all of the kids vacate stage left," she said.
The man, described as a 35-year-old Mexican national, may have been hiding in the marshland, Olmos said.
Federal agents are not clear when the man crossed into the U.S.
The man was taken into custody on allegations of being in the U.S. illegally and assaulting an agent.
Mike Franco was driving in the area when he heard the sirens.
“The dude was running over there, kinda hid,” said. “He tried ducking into the estuary so he could blend in.”
Franco said he felt the law enforcement officers did a good job apprehending the man.
The estuary is located in the most southwestern corner of San Diego County. It is part of a reserve made up of more than 2,000 acres from the U.S.-Mexico border to Imperial Beach.
The Tijuana Slough is more than 1,000 acres where the Tijuana River meets the Pacific Ocean.
The visitor center is on Caspian Way in Imperial Beach.
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