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Apr 11, 2013 8:24 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Nogales man says he was assaulted at port

NOGALES - A Nogales man says he was "brutally assaulted" by a customs officer at the decision Port of Entry late last month but the agency is denying his claims.

Larry Kirschenman says he was driving through the port of entry on March 27th when an officer instructed him to drive into the second inspection lane. According to Kirschenman the officer said, "do you know you're responsible for everything in this vehicle?" Kirschenman said he told the officer, "no, I don't really think so but if the courts say I am, then I am."

Kirschenman says the officer then became agitated and said, "that's not what I asked you," and instructed Kirschenman to get out of the vehicle and put his hands on the truck. The 75-year-old says he questioned the officer. Kirschenman says the officer's actions left cuts on his wrist and head, at which point he began to feel ill. Paramedics took Kirschenman to the hospital where he was evaluated and released. Police took Kirschenman's statement and took photos of him at the hospital, the injuries were noted as a laceration to the top of the head and laceration on the right wrist.

Customs and Border Protection said Kirschenman was pulled over for verification of a warrant after a routine records check revealed a possible outstanding arrest warrant out of San Bernardino, California. In a statement the agency said, "At one point, Mr. Kirschenman was asked if he had any weapons and he admitted to having a knife, but would not tell the officer where it was located. While being detained, Mr. Kirschenman became combative and sustained self-inflicted injuries."

The statement from CBP went on to say, "Mr. Kirschenman received immediate medical attention on the scene and was subsequently transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. It was determined the warrant was non-extraditable and no further charges are pending."

The agency confirmed having surveillance video of the incident. A spokesman said though the agency had not launched an investigation it would continue to look into the incident.

The officer involved in the incident remains on duty.

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