BUFFALO, N.Y. – A frustrated woman from Kitchener, Ontario has discovered the perils of assaulting a US border official.
Tianna Natasha McPherson has been charged with assault, resisting or impeding an officer of the US government.
U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. said if convicted McPherson, 40, faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno said the woman was dropped off at the Rainbow Bridge port of entry by taxi on September 2.
Because of negative information on her file, she was referred for secondary inspection, he said.
When told she was being denied admission to the US and would be sent back to Canada, the woman allegedly became “verbally combative.”
“At this point, the defendant became verbally combative and uncooperative, indicating she did not want to go back to Canada, and stating that she was an American citizen.”
“However, McPherson offered no credible or verifiable information to support her claim to U.S. citizenship.”
“The defendant stated that she wanted to go before an American judge, and grabbed her baggage, and began walking towards the exit of the lobby.
“A Customs and Border Protection officer positioned herself in front of the exit and informed McPherson she was not to leave and to sit down.
“The defendant asked the officer, “What if I punch you in the face?” The officer again ordered McPherson to sit down. The defendant then stated that she wanted to be charged criminally.”
At this time, McPherson open-hand slapped the officer on the left side of her face. The defendant was subsequently restrained and escorted to a holding cell, authorities said in a statement.
The defendant made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and is being held. A detention hearing is scheduled for September 13, 2018, at 1:30 p.m.