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Nov 15, 2000 - 06:37 AM

Border Patrol Agent Indicted in Immigrant Assault

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A Border Patrol agent was indicted for allegedly hitting a Mexican man in the head with a flashlight.

Tuesday's indictment accuses David Sipe, 29, of hitting the unidentified man during an April 5 arrest near Penitas, about 65 miles west of Brownsville in southern Texas.

"Wearing a uniform does not give any individual a license for violence," Bill Lann Lee, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a release.

Norma Lacy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas, did not know Sipe's status with the Border Patrol. She said a summons has been issued for Sipe and a hearing set for Nov. 21 in federal court.

Sipe has not been arrested and no bond has been set, Lacy added. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

AP-ES-11-15-00 0638EST