ICE says man detained while driving pregnant wife to hospital is wanted on homicide charge

Update 1:18 a.m. EDT Aug. 19: Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say a man who was detained while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital to deliver their child is wanted on suspicion of homicide.

According to KCBS, ICE said Saturday that Joel Arrona-Lara, of Mexico, was taken into custody "on an outstanding homicide warrant."

His wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, told the station that he was detained in San Bernardino, California, while driving her to the hospital for a planned Cesarean section. She said she then drove herself to the hospital.

Arrona-Lara's attorney, Emilio Amaya Garcia, claimed that the Mexican consulate does not have any information to support ICE's statement about the homicide charge, KCBS reported. Detention records say Arrona-Lara was detained because he was in the U.S. without documentation, Garcia said.

A Friday statement from ICE about Arrona-Lara's arrest did not mention the homicide claim, KCBS reported.

Read more here.

Original story: A woman in San Bernardino, California, told CBSLA agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained her husband as they drove to the hospital to deliver their child.

>> Read more trending news

Maria del Carmen Venegas said that her husband, Joel Arrona-Lara, was driving her to the hospital for a planned Cesarean section Wednesday when ICE agents surrounded their car at a gas station.

Venegas, a mother of five, told CBSLA she showed officers her identification, but her husband did not have his ID with him.

She said they lived nearby and offered to drive back to the house to get his ID, but officers placed Arrona-Lara into custody, leaving Venegas alone at the gas station, images from the store's surveillance video showed.


She said she drove herself to the hospital to deliver their child.

"My husband needs to be here," Venegas said. "He had to wait for his son for so long, and someone just took him away."


Venegas told CBSLA that her husband has never been in trouble with the law, and they are currently working on finding an attorney to help secure his release.

ICE confirmed to the local Univision and Telemundo stations that Arrona-Lara is in custody.

“Mr. Arrona-Lara is currently in the custody of ICE pending deportation procedures before the Executive Office of Immigration Review,” a spokesperson said. “All those who violate immigration laws would be subject to an immigration arrest and, if a final order determines their removal, be deported from the United States.”

About the Author