Hugo-nominated author Peter Watts was reportedly beaten, pepper-sprayed, and imprisoned by American border guards on December 8, 2009. According to his friend David Nickle, Watts, a Canadian citizen, was stopped at the border crossing at Port Huron, Michigan, by US police for a search of his rental car. “When Peter got out of the car and questioned the nature of the search, the gang of border guards subjected him to a beating, restrained him and pepper sprayed him. At the end of it, local police laid a felony charge of assault against a federal officer against Peter.”
Watts posted bond on December 9 and returned to Canada. He will have to return to Michigan to face the assault charge, which could mean two years in prison and a ban on travel to the US. Watts plans to mount a vigorous defense, and friends and family are fundraising to help cover legal costs. Paypal donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.