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Canadian denied entry to U.S. charged with slapping Customs officer

A Canadian woman arrested on charges of assaulting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent made an appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer.

Tianna N. McPherson, 40, of Kitchener, was being held by U.S. authorities, pending a detention hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said McPherson was dropped off Sept. 2 at the Rainbow Bridge. McPherson told Customs and Border Protection agents she intended to visit Niagara Falls State Park.

Because she had a previous problem crossing the border, McPherson was referred for secondary inspection, denied entry into the U.S. and advised she would be returned to Canada, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. McPherson allegedly became verbally combative, according to the criminal complaint, which described her as uncooperative and insisting that she did not want to return to Canada because, she allegedly said, she was a U.S. citizen.

Prosecutors said McPherson offered no information to support her claim of citizenship. After being ordered again to sit down, McPherson allegedly asked to be criminally charged and allegedly used an open hand to slap the officer's face. McPherson was restrained and escorted to a holding cell, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office complaint. She was charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer of the United States.

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