Four local Hispanic residents are suing the U.S. Border Patrol and Wakeman police for illegally detaining them and assaulting them, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.
A Norwalk couple and a Sandusky couple allege they were illegally interrogated for 14 hours, following a 6 a.m. traffic stop in Wakeman on Feb. 23, 2011, according to the 20-page lawsuit.
The couples claim the agents and police violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Border Patrol agents detained the two men and two women until about 8 p.m., when they took them to the Seneca County jail. In that 14-hour span, the agents repeatedly denied their requests for attorneys and also threatened them when they wouldn’t say they were from Mexico, the lawsuit states.
Agents also threatened to take away their children and indefinitely detain them at the Border Patrol station, which at the time was in Sandusky, according to the lawsuit.
It’s still unclear if the couples were undocumented residents.
Read more on the suit in Saturday's Register.