BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The rogue Department of Homeland Security Agent arrested by Boca Raton Police after he allegedly opened fire on the driver of a vehicle who cut him off on Glades Road by Town Center Mall was involved in another controversial incident in 2008.
Angel Echevarria, an agent with the Federal Protective Service assigned to the US Marshal's Service was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail several days ago after Boca PD issued a warrant for his arrest.
Instead of turning himself into Boca Police, Echevarria turned himself into fellow federal agents who may have “worked the system” in a way to keep his arrest record hidden until BocaNewsNow.com demanded the information through a Freedom Of Information Act request.
We have now learned that Echevarria allegedly presented an aggressive response in another incident in Arlington, VA, not far from DHS headquarters. The victim — an executive with the company behind The Daily Caller — wrote about the incident on DailyCaller.Com. It was witnessed by a photographer with the Associated Press.
On the afternoon of April 11, 2008, I was on my way to my now-wife’s house to drop off a cake for an upcoming party before catching a flight to visit her family. The clock was ticking, but I had given myself extra time to run some errands and pack after leaving work. Then Angel Echevarria, an agent with the Federal Protective Service (FPS), swerved out of his lane and slammed his patrol car into the back left side of my car. Instead of apologizing for wrecking my car, Mr. Echevarria verbally accosted me, threatened to arrest me, and made a very deliberate movement to his holstered weapon. When your car is wrecked by an insecure and armed federal officer, constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure no longer apply.
The road to my wife’s home (now our home) is four lanes – two lanes for each direction of traffic with a landscaped median in between. The sprawling development along the road to the West was part of the 1788 ratification of the Constitution, which authorized Congress to accept roughly ten square miles of territory from the states to be used by and for the new government (the same land was later returned to Virginia in 1846). The neighborhood is quiet, the people are friendly, and there is not a federal building in sight. To this day, I can only assume that an FPS employee in that area had to be headed home and certainly not on duty protecting the country’s federal buildings or its federal employees.
I was driving in the right-hand lane and was only a block from my destination. At the approaching light, a line of cars formed in the left-hand lane behind a vehicle waiting to turn left. It was out of this lane that Mr. Echevarria swerved. Sandwiched by parked cars on my right and several other cars on my left (including Mr. Echevarria’s), I had nowhere to go. Mr. Echevarria’s patrol car slammed into the latter half of the front driver’s side door and screeched all the way past my gas tank. After I collected myself and counted to ten, I stepped out of my car, planning to take the high road and ensure that Mr. Echevarria was alright. And that’s when things got interesting.
“Are you alright?” I asked. “NO,” he yelled. “What does it look like? My car is wrecked.”
This was the point at which I realized I might not make that flight.
“Well perhaps you should’ve stayed in your lane, then,” I replied.
“I had my blinker on!”
“I don’t care if your whole car was blinking, you don’t just get to swerve out of your lane and smash other cars.”
Mr. Echevarria then demanded that I provide identification and proof of insurance. I asked him to do the same. When he refused to even give me his name, I declined to provide him with my driver’s license given his behavior and previous outbursts. I knew my rights and I knew that as the person at fault, he had no legitimate authority to use his position to intimidate me. He again demanded my information, and I again declined and requested the same from him. And that’s when things went from interesting to ugly.
Mr. Echevarria very deliberately moved his hand to his holstered firearm and threatened to arrest me unless I provided him with my I.D. and proof of insurance. This was not because I was a threat (my friends regularly inform me that there’s no way I weigh more than “a buck twenty soaking wet”); it was because he wanted to use his position and his firearm to intimidate me into giving up my rights. It is difficult to negotiate with a man whose only apparent source of courage is holstered to his waist.
At that moment I seriously considered allowing him to arrest me on principle. I knew I had done nothing wrong, and I also knew that the blatantly wrongful arrest of the chief investigator of a U.S. senator with oversight of FPS and the Department of Homeland Security would make quite a news story. However, instead of using the same intimidation tactics as Mr. Echevarria or using my position as a bargaining chip, I gave up and gave in to his demands. At that point, despite not having any authority to do so, Mr. Echevarria ran a background check on me from his patrol car, using taxpayer resources to effectively spy on me after wrecking my car. Unfortunately for Mr. Echevarria, a photographer for the Associated Press witnessed the entire incident and eagerly gave me his contact information.