SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio man, who was originally born in California, was walking to a local H-E-B when his life changed forever.
According to a claim sent to Homeland Security from the man's attorney, 24-year-old Julio Cesar Ovalle was walking to his local H-E-B off Potranco Road on June 11 when he was stopped by a Border Patrol agent. The claim alleges the agent began to ask Ovalle for his papers, making derogatory statements at him and implying he was in the country illegally. All Ovalle had on him that day was cash and his cellphone as he had left his wallet with his Texas ID card in his dad's car.
The claim goes on, saying Ovalle was forcefully put into the agent's vehicle and his phone taken away. All the while, Ovalle continued to insist he was a U.S. citizen and could get his papers if given the chance.
Ovalle was taken to the Cotulla station. During the drive, the agent allegedly continued to berate Ovalle about where he crossed, and other similar comments. The next day, Ovalle was transferred to Laredo where agents continued to ask him about his immigration status. The claim says agents did not believe him and forced him to sign papers he did not understand. Ovalle speaks little English and was placed in special education classes in high school, where he did not graduate.
The same day, Ovalle was sent to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, without seeing a judge, making a phone call, speaking with an attorney or even an opportunity to obtain the papers, according to the claim.
After being deported to Mexico, Ovalle was able to finally call his father who said he was on his way with the papers and instructed him to wait outside. However, while waiting, Ovalle says he was abducted by members of the Mexican cartel. They then took him to a home outside of Nuevo Laredo and held him for ransom.
After his father had received voice messages demanding the ransom, he contacted the FBI. The FBI communicated with Mexico officials and were able to get Ovalle released at the International Bridge in Laredo.
The claim says because of these events, Ovalle continues to suffer severe emotional distress.
The federal government now has about six months before a lawsuit can be filed.