Caught on tape: ICE officers break window, drag man out of vehicle in front of family

When Florencio Millan-Vazquez refused to leave his vehicle unless U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers showed him papers, they smashed his window.

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By David K. Li

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers smashed the driver's side window of a Missouri man, dragged him out and arrested him in a violent confrontation caught on tape Monday.

ICE officers in Kansas City boxed in a vehicle driven by Florencio Millan-Vazquez, 32, claiming they had a warrant for his arrest for eventual deportation, authorities said.

But when ICE officers wouldn't show him any papers, Millan-Vazquez refused to get out of his car. The ensuing standoff was captured on Facebook Live by girlfriend Cheyenne Hoyt, who was in the car with their two young children as the incident unfolded.

"After attempting to negotiate with Millan-Vazquez for about 25 minutes, the ICE officers were left with no other choice than make the arrest by physically removing him from the vehicle," according to a statement issued Tuesday by ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer.

An ICE officer then appears to use a small handheld device to blast Millan-Vazquez's driver's side window apart, footage showed. Officers then opened the door, dragged Millan-Vazquez out, put him face down on the pavement and handcuffed him, the video showed.

In the video, Hoyt can be seen putting her hand on Millan-Vazquez's shoulder.

"I told him not to refuse, not to resist, because I didn't want them to shoot him in front of my kids," Hoyt said at a press conference on Tuesday, surrounded by immigrant advocates.

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The children could be heard whimpering and crying in the background.

"I’m so scared ... daddy," a young male voice could be heard. "I just want to see daddy."

Kansas City police were on the scene to back up ICE officers, who made the arrest at about 10 a.m. on Monday in front of 4032 Harvard Circle, officials said.

KCPD declined to critique or support the ICE action, or say if it was necessary to bust the driver's side window.

"That would be a question for ICE to answer, they were the ones that broke the window," Sgt. Jacob Becchina said.

Millan-Vazquez has misdemeanor offenses on his record and a federal immigration judge, in 2011, ordered him out of the country, according to ICE.

"Millan-Vazquez complied with the judge’s order by returning to Mexico," Neudauer said in a statement. "However, five days after he returned to Mexico, he was encountered by immigration officials after he illegally re-entered the United States under an assumed name. He was issued an expedited removal order."

The ICE officer who broke the window suffered minor cuts.

The arrest also called into question how much Kansas City police participated in the incident.

Immigrant advocates said that KCPD have promised not to assist ICE in such arrests.

Alex Perez, a representative of the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance, said city police handed ICE officer the glass-breaking instrument used to bash in the car's window.

"When the KCPD arrived not only did they also ignore the repeated request for a warrant, they attempted to shatter the window themselves and then provided the tool to ICE agents, which ultimately was used to break the driver's window to illegally enter the vehicle and arrest the victim," Perez said at the press conference.

Sgt. Becchina said he didn't know if his officers assisted in that manner: "I would have to do further research on that to confirm one way or another."

Millan-Vazquez was being held by the Morgan County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, jail records showed.

Neudauer said "it should not take long to reinstate" the judge's order and have Millan-Vazquez deported to Mexico.