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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 7, 2018

Canadian Woman Arrested For Slapping A CBP Officer

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Tianna Natasha McPherson, 40, of Kitchener, Ontario, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer of the United States. The charge carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on September 2, 2018, the defendant was dropped off at the Rainbow Bridge port of entry by a taxi cab. McPherson stated she intended on visiting the Niagara Falls State Park for a few hours. Due to derogatory information related to the defendant’s previous attempted crossings into the United States, McPherson was referred for a secondary inspection, denied admittance into the United States, and advised that she would be returned to Canada.

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.
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.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

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Updated September 7, 2018