BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It was a dramatic dash across a border bridge, but a U.S. Border Patrol agent made a quick arrest.
At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, a citizen of Belarus made a desperate attempt at a better life, bolting across the slotted train tracks on the International Railroad Bridge from Canada to the United States. Customs officers were following his every move.
Lead Agent Michael Scioli said, "You don't know what you're getting involved in. This subject could possible have a bomb on them, could have a weapon, you have no idea."
There was a controlled flurry of activity, according to Scioli, getting officers out to the bridge. Surveillance video showed the man being taken into custody.
MORE | This is the second time in three weeks Canadian authorities have had a security lapse. The last occurrence was at the end of August, when an empty rail car crossed the Whirlpool Railroad Bridge and sat unnoticed by Canadian officials for hours
"The agent's already there. You can't see him in the brush, but he's telling him get down on your knees, put your hands behind your head. All of our agents are trained to encounter situations like that so you want to take the necessary precautions ahead of time," Scioli said.
The man was arrested on the American side of the tracks by a customs officer with more than 20 years on the job. That officer says the man was carrying some personal items, but posed no real security threat.
Scioli said, "We were fortunate this time. With Border Patrol, we don't have the opportunity to make a mistake. So having all this together, it was a success."
Customs officers train for months in Arizona before coming to Buffalo, tracking people who cross the southern border of the United States illegally. But our country's northern border is busy, too. Last year, agents arrested more than 2,000 people for various offenses, including crossing the border illegally.
This one arrest only adds to the growing number of people trying to slip through international security.
"It's a common story," Scioli noted. "But a lot of it is just the desire to come to the United States. This was his thought for a safe route."
The man, who has not been identified, was placed under arrested and taken to the Buffalo Border Patrol Station. He remains in custody and face an immigration judge in the near future.
Agents are still working to figure out why the man didn't cross the border l
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