Canadian sci-fi writer convicted in border scuffle
Canadian science fiction writer Peter Watts, who was arrested in Michigan after a dispute with U.S. border police, was found guilty Friday on a charge of "assaulting/resisting/obstructing" a police officer.
Watts was trying to cross back into Sarnia, Ont., on Dec. 8, 2009, at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., when his vehicle was selected for inspection.
Port Huron police Capt. Jim Jones told the Times Herald newspaper in Port Huron that Watts appeared to be angry when officers inspected his black sport utility vehicle.
Jones said that the officers ordered Watts back into the vehicle, and when he refused, they tried to handcuff him. He said a scuffle ensued in which Watts choked one of the officers, and an officer used pepper spray to subdue him.
Watts testified that he had been trying to comply with the orders. He said one of the officers punched him while he was still in the vehicle and then demanded he come out and lie on the ground.
"I just stood there, saying, 'What is the problem?', just before [he] Maced me," Watts wrote on his blog Friday, after the Port Huron jury found him guilty.
Watts faces up to two years in prison. He will be sentenced April 26.
Watts's books include Starfish, Maelstrom and Behemoth, known as the Rifters Trilogy.
With files from The Associated Press