Things That Matter

A 16-Year-Old Girl Was Strip Searched By Border Patrol Agents, And Her Father Is Seeking Justice

A 16-year old San Diego girl was strip-searched by Border Patrol agents after they felt her maxi pad during a pat down.

CREDIT: Scott Catlin with his three daughters. Via GoFundMe

CBS8 San Diego reports that on September 5, the teen and her two older sisters, who are 20 and 18 years old, were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from Tijuana into the U.S. through the San Ysidro Port of Entry after visiting their grandmother. When a K-9 unit alerted officers in the general direction where the sisters were standing in line, they were taken to secondary inspection for questioning by U.S. Customs officials. The 16-year-old was separated from her sisters, taken to another room alone by two female Customs agents where her father, Scott Catlin, claims she was touched throughout her body. When agents detected a maxi pad on her, they performed a strip search on the teen to, as Catlin described to CBS8, “make sure the pad they already touched was not contraband or had contraband.”

A lawyer speaking on behalf of Catlin and his family said the U.S. Customs officers made no attempt to contact the parents of the teen before performing the search.

This is not the first incident like this to be reported. CBS8 reports that the American Friends Service Committee, a religious organization that advocates for peace and social justice, has received 50 complaints of inappropriate touching this year. ABC News also reported that the ACLU is currently investigating several instances of abuse against minors at the hands of Border Patrol agents.

Catlin has opened a GoFundMe page to support legal fees and therapy for his daughter. On the page, he writes:

As many of you know the rights of our 3 daughters were recently violated by Homeland Security.  All 3 were traumatized, especially our youngest who was touched inappropriately in her private area (sexually assaulted) then forced to endure a demeaning and illegal strip search without consent and no parental notification. We are seeking all remedies to hold those involved accountable and to prevent other innocent parties from abuse… Together we can hold the Government and it’s agents accountable for their heinous misconduct protecting all of our vulnerable youth as well as those government agents who are honorable, follow the rules, and have basic human decency who are sullied by the misconduct of others.

To watch the CBS8 interview with Scott Catlin, click here.


READ: Corruption Among Border Patrol Agents Highlighted In This Tense Documentary

Don’t forget to share this story!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Things That Matter

Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Photo: Vanessa Tijerina/Facebook

Texas police are currently trying to get to the bottom of a disturbing incident that happened in Raymondville on Monday.

Former Republican candidate for Texas state Senate, Vanessa Tijerina, posted a shocking 10-minute Facebook Live video detailing the brutal assault she experienced in a nearby hotel on Monday.

Tijerina appeared in the video with her face looking unrecognizable. She had two black eyes–both of which were swollen almost completely shut.

Her face was covered in bruises. Her speech was impaired from how much swelling she was experiencing. It looked–to be blunt–like she had been beaten to a pulp.

Through tears, Tijerina explained to her followers that she was lured to a hotel room by some unnamed assailants who led her to believe they had “something really really really important” to tell her that they couldn’t tell her over the phone.

But once she was alone in the hotel room, the assailants “gagged, bound [and] tortured” her.

“I was beaten. I was terrorized, bound, gagged, tortured,” she said in the Facebook Live video.

“I never fought back because I knew that if I fought back, it would’ve been worse and I probably wasn’t going to survive. And I needed to survive for my daughters.”

Although a motive for the assault hasn’t yet been established, Tijerina is a relatively high-profile figure in Texas’s Raymondville community. She is active on social media and regularly goes on Facebook live to engage with her followers and supporters. And with her high profile comes a litany of critics and haters who have created troll accounts with the express purpose of smearing her.

Despite all this, Tijerina refutes the rumors that she “did something” to motivate the beating.

“There was nothing that I did that made this okay for this to happen to me,” she said. Tijerina began to get increasingly more emotional as she talked about her children and the fact that she was not able to give her children the toys she bought them for Christmas.

So far, Raymondville police have arrested three suspects in connection to the assault: Amanda Salinas, Ariel Jamie Vela and Ramon Donato Santana Jr. As for who was on the phone giving orders at the time of the assault, police are still looking for answers.

As of this writing, the police have not yet publicly revealed a motive. But since her attack, Tijerina has again taken to her Facebook page to assert that the assault was “100% motivated by hate.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Meryl Streep’s Nephew Faces Felony Assault Charges After Violent Road Rage Incident Where He Attacked Latino Teen; Teen Claims Streep is ‘Racist’

Things That Matter

Meryl Streep’s Nephew Faces Felony Assault Charges After Violent Road Rage Incident Where He Attacked Latino Teen; Teen Claims Streep is ‘Racist’

Photos: via 7davinho/Instagram; GoFundMe

Meryl Streep’s nephew, Charles Harrison Streep, faces felony assault charges after a violent road rage altercation gave a Latino teen permanent brain damage.

The teen, whose name is David Peralta, 18, claims that Streep is “racist” and hurled racial slurs at him before attacking him in a Chase Bank parking lot in East Hampton, New York, on August 24th. Peralta’s family hails from Ecuador but he has lived in the U.S. all his life.

According to Peralta, the altercation began when Streep allegedly ran a stop sign and almost hit Peralta’s car.

Photo: via GoFundMe

Surveillance video obtained by The Daily Mail (which can be seen here) shows the two men pulling into a parking lot and appearing to exchange words out their car windows. The footage then shows Peralta getting out of his car. Streep exits his car and quickly approaches Peralta. Peralta puts his hands up in a defensive position and Streep appears to attack him.

Peralta–who was a high school wrestler–responds by grasping Streep, lifting him up, and throwing him to the ground. Streep quickly gets up and begins to strangle Peralta, lifting him up in the air in turn and throwing his body to the ground, where he begins to drag his apparently unconscious body. Streep then leaves Peralta on the ground before getting into his car and driving away.

Peralta claims that before Streep attacked him, he made racist remarks about him.

“He starts coming at me, pushing me,” Peralta recounted to The Daily Mail. “[Streep] said: ”You’re just Spanish I’m going to slam you to the ground…” Peralta says after that, he went unconscious.

In the video, Peralta stands up after the assault, holding his head and appearing dazed. According to court documents, he refused medical attention at the scene. It was only later that he was airlifted to the nearby hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was told that he had a brain bleed that could lead to permanent brain damage or even death. He then went into emergency surgery.

According to Peralta’s family, the teen was forced to drop out of school, where he had been studying criminal justice.

Photo: via 7davinho/Instagram

“He is staying in his room. He doesn’t want to go out,” Peralta’s mother told The East Hampton Star. “He is sad. His life is not easy now. He’s frustrated because his life changed.”

Three days after the incident, Streep was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation. Streep’s lawyers insist that it was Peralta who was the aggressor, but the footage clearly shows Streep initiating first contact.

“The level of violence is really shocking,” Peralta’s lawyer told The New York Post. “For him to take this young man’s limp body, after he had choked him unconscious and slam him on the ground…it just rises to the level of obscenity in my view.”

The East Hampton community has rallied around Peralta, with a group of his supporters appearing at the court hearing on October 8th. Streep, it should be noted, was a no-show. One of Peralta’s supporters was Alexandria Preston, 27, who believes the incident is racially motivated.

“This can easily just be viewed as just a road rage incident, or just an incident happening within the Latino community,” she told The East Hampton Star. “But no, it’s a racial incident, and it’s systemic racism.”

Another supporter told the East Hampton Star that Streep is the prime example of what unchecked privilege can do to a person. “This is a man who represents an ill in our community here of ultra-rich people, of ultra-famous names, who feels that he is above the law,” said the woman.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com