Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I got yer "please" right here...

So if we can pepper-spray one arrogant Canadian, why can't we just get a crop-duster and spray them all?
A Canadian who demanded courtesy from a U.S. border security guard says he was pepper sprayed and held in custody for three hours for asking the disrespectful officer to "say please" when ordering him to turn his car off during a search.

"I refused to turn off the car until he said please. He didn't. And he has the gun, I guess, so he sprayed me," said Desiderio Fortunato, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident who frequently crosses the border to visit his second home in the state of Washington. "Is that illegal in the United States, asking an officer to be polite?"

The incident occurred on Monday at the Aldergrove border crossing, east of Vancouver, shortly after 12 p.m. Mr. Fortunato, a dance studio director, was traveling to his home in Blaine, Wash., to retrieve a wallet his wife had left during their most recent visit.

He said he was questioned by a border officer who demanded he turn off his car and, when asked to make the request more politely, threatened to spray him with his pepper gun if he did not comply.

"I just felt I should stand my ground about it. I should not be treated like that. No matter what kind of position you are in, if you want respect you have to show respect," he said yesterday. "I asked him three times and when I didn't turn the car off, because he didn't say please, he pepper sprayed me.... It was terrible. For half an hour or so I couldn't see anything."

Mr. Fortunato said after he was sprayed he was forcefully taken into custody by several officers. He was held for three hours before he was released without being allowed entry into the United States. Mr. Fortunato says he was dismissed with a warning to be more cooperative in the future.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers are trained on how to handle confrontation, and refusal to comply with a direct order is justification to use capsicum spray, also known as pepper spray, or other "soft techniques" such as physical holds.

"The combination of training and experience is what our officers use to communicate with passenger on a day-today basis. Our officers will give direct orders or commands to passengers, especially in situations where there may be a safety concern. It is the obligation of the passenger to be compliant with those," said spokesperson Mike Milne.

He added that officers order border passengers to turn of their vehicles when they want to take somebody from a car and, in such cases, further questioning would be conducted inside the building.

While he could not comment on the specific case, Mr. Milne said the use of force at a border crossing is very rare, very serious and subject to immediate review.

By his own admission, Mr. Fortunato is a stickler for courtesy and respect. The Portuguese native, who has lived in B.C. for 25 years and has owned his second home in Washington for three, pulled a similar stunt at the same border crossing about one year ago. In that case, he was ordered to wait hours to be questioned before being allowed to cross.
So let's review this, shall we?

OUR border. OUR country. Jackass who would like to come in decides to give our Customs and Immigration staff a hard time, basically for no reason other than just to be a jerk. When he's given a simple instruction--not a request, but an instruction--he refuses to comply, no doubt sitting there with a cheese-eating grin on his face as he dares the officer to either submit to his attempt at dominance or do something about it.

Well the officer, after repeating the instruction three times and being told "no" by Fortunato, does something about it. He controls Fortunato and forces him to comply.

Good for him. I support the officer 100% and if it were up to me, Fortunato would be barred from crossing that border for a year at least and required to write the officer a nice apology letter. I occasionally had to deal with assholes like this when I was on the street so I know what the officer was going through. I would walk up to someone's car after stopping them for a traffic infraction and I would tell them politely but firmly to turn the car off. It wasn't optional and it wasn't a request, but I still said "please" even though I wasn't asking. Most people complied, but every now and then, I'd get some arrogant SOB who wanted to show me that he's the one in charge on the side of the road.
"Why?" he'd ask.
"Because I told you to." End of discussion, right there. If I was feeling particularly conversant, I might have told them how I was dragged by a guy who didn't turn his car off one day several years ago, and how I was forced to shoot that guy. Ever since then, I've had a thing about peoples' cars running when I'm trying to conduct business with them. So all the cars get shut off now, for my safety and theirs. And when someone decided to challenge my simple instruction, "Officer Friendly" went away and "Officer you-aren't-going-to-like-what-happens-next" took over. Almost everyone got the message when my tone and position next to their door changed, but there were a couple who found out just how quickly I could open their door and turn it off myself. And I wasn't in the mood for writing warnings after that happened. Contrary to popular opinion in some loon quarters, police officers don't go to work every day hoping that they get to shoot someone. And when some tool decides to re-create the situation in which I've had to do just that thing...well you figure out how that goes over. And I'm not the only officer that assesses such actions as potential threats and responds according to training or past experience. Fortunato was lucky that he only got a face full of pepper spray.

You see, Fortunato, you aren't doing us a favor by coming into our country and we don't have to let you come in, even if you did buy a house here. We have some hard-working people on that border trying to keep the bad guys out--bad guys who would kill you personally in a heartbeat if they could--and here you are, trying to be an ass just because you have a case of "little penis syndrome".

Well now you know how it works. I'll bet that the next time one of our border police officers tell you to turn your car off, you'll do it. And I'll be honest in that I really don't care how my brothers on the border talk to you. All I care about is that they go home at the end of their shifts because they weren't distracted by some horse's ass, causing them to miss a clue that something very bad was about to happen.

You want to play games? Go to the playground. Preferably one back in Canada.


  1. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Many thanks from a CBP officer!

  2. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Come on, what the heck is going on with this country? Between this, the pothead cat incident, the loser bus driver who thought it would be "funny" to punch crime dog McGruff in the face in front of a bus load of children, and the idiot woman from Florida who called 911 THREE times because her Micky D's ran out of chicken nuggets, what a joke! I have to commend all you public servents who have to deal with such a rapidly deteriorating society. How dare he come into this country and DEMAND anything? If we did that in say Russia, we'd be shot on site. Our country's strong image is just going down the tubes and we are being seen as too weak. And now we have our new commander in chief who is only going to make things worse. That border agent should have shot him in the knee caps and locked his arse up for his actions just to make an example of him. ARGGHH! So frustrating. Funny, my word verification is "Roodus", coincidence or does this site have ESP? :-)

  3. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Please????????????? I got your please right here................ Fill your hands liberal scum, and be prepared to fight. Because you are going down my Canadian friend............ That would have been my answer, to his PLEASE question.

  4. I had just heard radio broadcasts about this but in the article it says this MORON did the same thing previously and had to wait for hours to get over the border.

    Maybe since he got his face painted orange and dragged through the vent window he wont be such an idiot next time.

    The failure to comply with a simple verbal order is called a clue further resistance is probably not far in the future.

    As far as I'm concerned the Officer did everything right. Gave him the order, repeated it, warned of the consequences in disobeying, and then followed through.

    My guess is that Fortunato might be a little less of a stickler for courtesy next time he attempts to cross the border.

    Hopefully he got himself on the watch list and he'll get turned away. And yes we've got your please. Its in a can and it called Sabre Red!

  5. Anonymous1:43 AM

    Nobody has the right to disrespectfully speak to another human being because he or she wears a badge as an officer. What's wrong with demanding respect? How hard is it to say PLEASE?

    What happened to CBP PLEDGE TO TRAVELERS????

    * We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States.
    * We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
    * We pledge to explain the CBP process to you.
    * We pledge to have a supervisor listen to your comments.
    * We pledge to accept and respond to your comments in written, verbal, or electronic form.
    * We pledge to provide reasonable assistance due to delay or disability.

    I think that Fortunato had every right to demand respect. It's what the CBP pledges! They should practice what they preach.

    It's about time someone speaks up. I have come across so many disrespectful officers at the border who make you feel like a criminal for doing nothing wrong. It is not right.

  6. He got what he deserved.

  7. To the last anonymous liberal, the one who was obviously over-coddled as a child...

    It's not necessarily disrespectful to abstain from saying "please", especially when you are not asking someone to grant you a courtesy but are, in fact, giving them an instruction. When your Yoga instructor tells you to stretch a certain way, does she say "please" every time? Of course not. Because she's simply telling you what you need to do to gain the benefit of her instruction. Same with the Border officer--he tells you what you need to do in order to come into our country, and if you don't like it, you don't have to come on.

    As for that little pledge that you cut-pasted, it shows that there is a feedback mechanism that was created to allow citizens to voice complaints when their panties get twisted by slights that they feel they have been subjected to. THAT is the appropriate way to respond, not a direct challenge to the officer. Apparently you gave been taught that you are the equal to every person in every situation and that no man can tell you what to do. Well as Mr. Fotunato has just demonstrated, there is a right way and a wrong way to object to things that you do not like, and he has just shown us what happens when one chooses the wrong way. There IS a cost. And for the record, Fortunato did not win that one, and I'm betting that next time he decides to ask if he can cross our border, he will comply with basic instruction and keep his lip in check, just as you undoubtedly will.

  8. I think I just fell in love with you a little .. and not only for the little comment you left me ;)

    I fully agree with the CBP officer's decision to mace that asshole. Just to make that last anonymous poster happy, he could have maybe asked him to please stand up and take an ass-kickin' like a man after dousing him with the pepper spray though (or is that just something we rednecks would say?) because .. well, it's the polite thing to do. Right?

    Give that puppy of yours a scratch behind the ear from the Divine one, he's beautiful :)
    (If I suck up to him enough, you think he'd eat my ex for me?)

  9. Heh... this guy's serial record of picking fights at the border speaks for itself. He kind of reminds me of all those guys who go, "I demand to be arrested" and then get all pissy when those things that happen to every arrestee start happening to him. "No, pal, I care even less for searching your crotch than you seem to care for me doing it. But you insisted, so you might as well savor the experience."

  10. Hi Me
    Well, thats pretty embarrassing to the rest of us not so arrogant Canadians.

    Funny thing, I only cross the border a couple of times annually, but I don't think I've once crossed and returned without remarking on how much more pleasant the US border police are than our own. Basically the same questions asked on your end, just more politely. That"s all the same to me, they've got their jobs to do, I've got their questions to answer and their instructions to comply with, piece a cake.
    Also, much as I have a few family members who fly crop dusters and just about any work is welcome right now, I'd like to politely decline your offer of a nation wide overhead distribution of OC.

  11. Sorry PowderGirl, we'll exempt you and most other Canadians from the spraying.

    Neither Lagniappe or I meant to imply that ALL Canadians are arrogant--most are not--but past articles and comment threads here have shown that there is a sizable community of very arrogant Canadians who have no problem denigrating our past President and our war effort while supporting our cowardly military deserters. We've scrapped with them before here, and my argument is with those zipperheads--most of whom are so stupid that one might easily mistake them for domestically-produced New England Liberals--and not Canadians in general. Even though your country did foist Tom Brokaw, William Shatner and Jennifer Granholm on us, you also gave us the McKenzie Brothers and North of 60, so we're square.

  12. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Woah! Easy on the William you're crossing the line Buddy. ;-)

  13. Loud and clear on that,
    I know who you mean, I meet them all the time and have my share of witless battles with my US bashing countrymen who would apparently not be averse to having burkes arbitrarily thrown over their stupid heads prior to being stoned to death in the streets.

    Thanks for the exemption though, I have really threshold for pain ; )

  14. If this guest of the USA feels insulted by his treatment by a border guard, his best option is to record the time, date, and location of said 'incident', record the officer's ID number and name if possible, and send a formal, written (on paper, please) complaint to the proper place.

    If an officer refuses to provide an ID number or name, that sets off warning bells in my mind, but I doubt that's what happened here.

    While many may doubt the effectiveness of this procedure, citizen and/or guest complaints, if presented in an intelligent, well-spoken, and non-confrontational manner, and sent through proper channels, can and do result in action by bad employee's bosses.

    I've made complaints about police officers. I strongly feel that cops too incompetent or aggressive in their jobs need to GO, and the faster the better, and the best way to accomplish that is to place articulate citizen complaints in their files.

    This incident here sounds like two grouchy people having an unfortunate meeting at the wrong time... except one had a badge and pepper spray. :D

  15. I support that Border Patrol agent 100% as well! An order is an order. If an idiot wants to refuse, then he will deal with the consequences. He is lucky all he got was a face full of OC.

  16. Anonymous9:38 PM

    I think getting a face full of pepper spray was mild. Comapred to what he needed to happen to him. A good old fashioned A$$ stomping.

  17. ErikZ4:54 PM

    Eh? Am I missing something? Why did he have to mace the guy?

    "Turn off the vehicle"
    'Say please'
    'Well then I'm not going to turn off the engine.'
    "Then go home. You're not getting across the border."

    Ta da. No need to ATTACK the guy. The border patrol officer has all the cards and all the power in that situation.

    I can see where you would do this if you were an officer stopping someone. This situation is different.

  18. The problem there, Erik, is that the officer was probably going to search the car. It's neither common practice nor a good idea to let people who show up at a border check-point just turn around and leave when they discover that their vehicle is to be searched. That basically lets any smuggler just try and try again until he gets through.

    No, when the officer says "turn the car off" as a prelude to a search, that's pretty much the end of the driver's ability to leave.

    And it's not an "attack" to use pepper spray--a compliance tool--on someone who is being non-compliant. It's actually safer for everyone involved because it lessens the chance of a fight where people on both sides can really get hurt.