- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2005

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested jockey Stewart Elliot, a Canadian citizen and winner of both the 2004 Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby, as a criminal alien subject to deportation.

Enforcement spokesman Dean Boyd said yesterday Elliot, 39, a native of Toronto, was taken into custody by agents Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport and later detained as a deportable alien based on a June 2001 felony criminal conviction for aggravated assault.

Elliot won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness last year aboard Smarty Jones but fell short of the Triple Crown when he lost the Belmont Stakes in New York. He was being held yesterday at the county prison facility in York, Pa.

Boyd said under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996, aliens with felony convictions are subject to removal from the United States. He said unless Stewart agrees to depart the country expeditiously, he will remain in detention until a federal immigration judge determines his lawful immigration status.

A lawyer for Elliott said her client voluntarily appeared before an immigration court Tuesday and the matter should be resolved by today.

Court records show Elliott pleaded guilty in June 2001 to aggravated assault following a fight with a friend, Alexander Kovakik, inside the man’s Burlington County, N.J., home in 2000. He was sentenced to a year’s probation and ordered to pay $13,900 to cover the victim’s medical bills, the records said.

The records also show Elliot hit Kovakik with a beer bottle, pool cue and wooden stool. Elliot initially was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and unlawful possession. The possession charges were dropped when he agreed to plead guilty.

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