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Published: Sunday, 12/13/2009

Canadian writer held at U.S. border


PORT HURON, Mich. - Police arrested a Canadian science fiction writer after he became aggressive and refused to comply during an inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, a government official said yesterday.

Peter Watts of Toronto was detained Tuesday in Port Huron in Michigan, Customs spokesman Ron Smith told the Associated Press. Mr. Smith said Mr. Watts was trying to cross into Canada at the Blue Water Bridge when his vehicle was selected for inspection.

Mr. Smith said Mr. Watts got out of the vehicle and became "noncompliant" and "aggressive," so officers detained him.

On Mr. Watts' blog, comments attributed to him Friday denied he had been aggressive and said he had been punched in the face during the arrest.

Port Huron police Capt. Jim Jones said officers attempted to handcuff Mr. Watts and used pepper spray to subdue him. Captain Jones said Mr. Watts assaulted an officer during the struggle.

Mr. Smith said the case was turned over to city police in Port Huron, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit.

Mr. Watts was charged with assaulting, obstructing, and resisting a police officer, according to St. Clair County District Court records.

He was released on a $5,000 bond.

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