TUCSON, July 5 (UPI) -- Former Arizona Gov. Raul Castro said he was detained by the Border Patrol for 45 minutes as he drove to his 96th birthday party.
Castro said he was questioned outside in 100-degree temperatures after his car triggered a radiation sensor at a checkpoint on June 12, The Arizona Republic reported. He told the agents that a hospital check on his pacemaker the previous day was probably responsible for the radiation alert.
Anne Doan, a friend of the Castro family, was driving Castro from his home in Nogales to Tucson, where a lunch was planned to celebrate his birthday.
"I felt the agents had no regard for the governor's background or age or physical condition," Doan wrote in a letter to the Nogales (Ariz.) International newspaper. "I was embarrassed as I watched the governor being needlessly treated like a nuclear threat."
Doan said seeing the waste of agents' time and money makes her feel less safe.
Patricia Castro said she was "appalled" by the treatment of her husband. Castro himself told the Republic he was "not thrilled" by the incident but said he did not file a complaint because the agents were doing their job.
The Border Patrol said agents are required to find the source of all detected radiation. The agency said Castro was not held for as long as he said and was on his way in 10 minutes.