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No arrest warrant for Egyptian-born Morro Bay man?

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It was just last Wednesday that Ahmed Fahmi found himself hiding from the feds who, along with Morro Bay police officers, surrounded his home in the early hours of the morning. Their weapons pulled, they claimed to have a warrant for his arrest.

The charge: an expired visa. But Egyptian-born Fahmi, who is married to an American woman with whom he has two children, denies the allegation, saying that he doesn’t have a current visa because he’s awaiting confirmation of his citizenship. No arrest was made. Police say they finally left to avoid aggravating Fahmi, whose behavior had turned suicidal. Fahmi charges that a responsible reaction to such a dilemma would have been to try to talk him down. He believes the police left because the document they held was not a legal arrest warrant, and the presence of a news crew gave them cause to leave before their lie was exposed.

 Though Morro Bay Police Commander Tim Olivas last week confirmed the existence of the arrest warrant to New Times, a phone call to the county jail reveals that there is not, at least in SLO County, any warrant issued for Fahmi’s arrest. Olivas was not available for comment at press time. A spokesperson for the department says the case has recently been handed over to the feds, so the Morro Bay PD can no longer comment about it.

 Fahmi believes he is being profiled for his Middle Eastern origins, and cites this incident as a further example of an abuse of power by the federal government. “I won’t let them do this to me,� says Fahmi. “I’ve already e-mailed my embassy. I’ve pulled paperwork documenting other peoples’ concerns. This is unlawful and I’ll prove it.�

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