Cyclist faces deportation after truck hits him in Florida

Lawrence Kim
May 26, 2017

"You speak English? You only speak Spanish, alright?" the officer asked Huete. Moments earlier, a pickup truck had struck the cyclist near a three-way intersection in Key West, Florida.

"You're illegal? Are you a legal citizen or no?" A Monroe County sheriff's deputy approaches him and asks, "You illegal?" Only then did the sergeant inquire if the man wanted an ambulance. "It's true, he is undocumented, but the first thing the officer needed to do was to make sure he wasn't injured". Huete now faces possible deportation.

The video comes amid a battle over so-called sanctuary cities, how local police cooperate with federal immigration authorities - if at all - and whether it's legal for cops to ask about someone's status.

According to an exclusive report from Univision, rather than immediately providing medical assistance to a Latino bicyclist who had just been hit by a pickup truck, a Florida sheriff callously badgered the Honduran immigrant about his legal status, the start of a series of events that eventually led to the immigrant man being arrested by Border Patrol.

In addition, he faces criminal charges for having re-entered the United States after being expelled. His family said he worked construction jobs and for a few local restaurants to support his mother and two daughters back home. Soon after, Lariz showed up and began the brief interrogation.

For his part, the Monroe Sheriff's Office told News 23 that it has "no official policy" to notify people who believe they may be illegally in the country.

Howard Simon, the executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, however, had some choice words.

"Asking for immigration status to a person after being hit by a vehicle offends human rights sensitivity and is very counterproductive for effective law enforcement", Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said.

Huete had to call his sister who took him to a hospital where he was given pain medication and crutches. After being discharged, the pair was asked by a law enforcement officer to return to the scene of the accident.

A Florida Highway Patrol tooper then fined him $75, Huete said, for "causing the accident".

Marcos Antonio Huete (right) lays on the sidewalk after being hit by a auto. That's where Huete was turned over to U.S. Border Patrol officers.

US Customs and Border Protection said that Marcos was picked up by agents after the crash and set to be deported because he is the subject of an outstanding deportation. Meanwhile, he is in Krome Detention Center in Miami-Dade County.

The agency states that Huete has a deportation order that dates back to 2010 and also faces criminal charges for re-entering the USA after previously being expelled.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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