Cedella Roman, 19, was reportedly detained after accidentally crossing the U.S. border in South Surrey. (Facebook/Cedella Roman)

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

CBC is reporting that a French woman spent two weeks in an American detention centre after accidentally stepping foot on U.S. soil near the Peace Arch border crossing last month.

Cedella Roman, 19, who was visiting her mother in North Delta, said she was jogging along the Semiahmoo Bay waterfront and inadvertently crossed the Douglas (Peace Arch) port of entry on May 21.

At the end of her jog, Roman turned around and headed back to Canada when she was apprehended by two U.S. border patrol officers, she told CBC News.

“An officer stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally,” she said. “I told him I had not done it on purpose and that I didn’t understand what was happening.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) officers told her that she had entered illegally, CBC reported.

An USCBP spokesperson told Peace Arch News Friday that the agency cannot provide information on the case due to the privacy act, but did offer a statement on behalf of the service.

“If an individual enters the United States at a location other than an official port of entry and without inspection by a Customs and Border Protection officer, they have illegally entered the United States and will be processed accordingly,” the statement said.

“It is the responsibility of an individual traveling in the vicinity of an international border to maintain awareness of their surroundings and their location at all times to ensure they do not illegally cross the border. Additionally, it’s important for people traveling near the border to carry identification at all times, so that agents or officers can easily verify their identity.”

After Roman was detained, she was reportedly transported to Tacoma Northwest Detention Centre, a facility operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

“They put me in the caged vehicles and brought me into their facility,” she said. “They asked me to remove all my personal belongings with my jewellery, they searched me everywhere.”

When Roman’s mother Christiane Fern learned of her daughter’s incarceration, she collaborated with Immigration Canada to co-ordinate the release of her daughter.

Roman was held in custody for two weeks before immigration officials on both sides of the border confirmed she was allowed back into Canada. She was then transferred back into B.C..

“It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border,” Ferne, who visited her daughter several times while she was detained, told CBC. “It’s like a trap… anybody can be caught up at the border like this.”

Roman was reportedly discharged from the detention centre June 6.

Roman has yet to respond to a PAN request for comment.

Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Trudeau concludes re-election campaign at Victoria pub

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his final campaign appearance

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce honours former Sidney mayor Marie Rosko

Rosko received lifetime achievement award during 2019 Crystal Awards

Man seriously injured after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read