Cdn who wanted 'please' gets pepper spray from U.S. border guard

Cdn who wanted ‘please’ gets pepper spray from U.S. border guard

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A British Columbian man has learned the hard way that you don’t ask a U.S. border guard to be polite when he asks you to turn off your vehicle’s engine.
Desiderio Fortunato, of Coquitlam, B.C., asked the guard to say please and instead received a face full of pepper spray.
“I just said please,” Fortunato explained Thursday. “He said ‘get out of the car or I spray you’ and … I thought he was just trying to scare me off or something and I was pepper sprayed from a foot or two away.”
He said it was then that five or six border guards jumped on him, placed him in handcuffs and questioned him for three hours last Monday afternoon.
“I felt like I was attacked by a bunch of wolves. They jumped on me, they threw me to the ground and they kneeled on me.”

I picked up a couple comments on this from another group I’m on – a Canadian thought it was stereotypically Canadian to expect a “please” and stereotypically American to pepper spray the guy.
A Brazilian pointed out that tourists come to the border expecting to be welcomed but border guards are watchdogs.


I dunno… the border guard probably thought Mr. Fortunato was being a jerk, at best.

The 54-year-old British Columbia resident told The Bellingham Herald that the inspector repeatedly ordered him to turn the car off and then said he would spray him if he didn’t.

I’m not sure what it is like in Portugal, but growing up in the US I was taught never lip off to a cop and always treat them with deference. I can’t imagine repeatedly refusing a border guard’s order, stubbornly insisting that the border guard say “please.” Especially after the border guard threatens to use pepper spray!

Silly Canadian.:tsktsk:

I can tell you from experience that there are US border guards who are petty tyrants. And my bad experience happened in the nineties, so don’t try to blame it on 9-11.

He’s lucky it was just pepper spray, and not a big, scary gun in his face!

Yeah, that was pretty stupid on the part of everyone, um? When an officer gives you a command, it’s dumb to remind him that his manners are terrible. He just might be the kind of petty tyrant who will pepper spray you for being insufficiently servile.

That’s how the world works. Not fair, but this guy got off pretty lightly, considering what could have happened to him.

BTW, a few years ago, I was crossing back into the US, when one of the guards asked me if I was an American citizen. For some reason, I said, “I’m from Texas.”

He laughed and waved me on.

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