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Elian Seized From Relatives’ Home

April 22, 2000

MIAMI (AP) _ Federal agents seized Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives before dawn today, firing tear gas into an angry crowd as they left for Washington with the crying and screaming 6-year-old boy.

More than 20 agents in several white vans arrived at the home shortly after 5 a.m. and used rams on the home’s chain-link fence and on the front door. The camouflage-clad agents took the frightened child out of the arms of one of the fishermen who rescued him on Thanksgiving Day.

A short time later, a woman and man brought Elian out of the home and put him in one of the vans, which sped off. Maria Elena Quesada, who was at the home, said Elian was screaming ``Help me, help me, don’t take me away″ in Spanish.

By 6 a.m., Elian was on a government plane headed for an airport near Washington and a reunion with his father, a government official said, requesting anonymity. His father was told about the raid as soon as Elian was safe and will meet him at the airport, the official said.

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