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

Another Kelowna club bites the dust

Level nightclub will be closing

Kelowna weather: Grey and snowy days return

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Super Snow Moon set to rise tonight

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year.

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Most Read