14 migrants, boat captain detained in Florida after ramming sheriff’s office vessel, police say

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The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says it has detained a boat captain and 14 migrants Friday in Florida after its vessel was rammed, damaging two engines.

Bazaelius Francois, 30, is now facing two counts of Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer following the incident that happened around 9:00 a.m. this morning near the Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County.

The migrants will be handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol, the sheriff’s office adds. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said “Shortly after 9:00 am, [a] PBSO Marine Unit deputy intercepted a vessel east of the Jupiter Inlet. Upon making contact with the Captain on board, the Captain rammed the PBSO Marine Unit Vessel damaging two engines.”

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Palm Beach Sheriff's Office boat in water

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says one of its Marine Unit vessels was damaged Friday after it was struck near Jupiter, Florida. This photo shows one of their police boats in 2018. (Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office)

A sheriff’s office helicopter and additional marine units then gave chase before the “boat captain beached the vessel just north of the Juno pier when he was immediately apprehended by responding road patrol deputies and Jupiter police officers.”

The investigation is ongoing and there were no reported injuries.

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The nationalities of the migrants were not immediately clear.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



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