HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers had already left the house in Hermitage where neighbors formed a human chain to try to prevent an arrest, according a department spokesman.

ICE has not identified the man they were attempting to arrest on Monday but say he has “multiple arrests and convictions in Davidson County.”

In a statement released Wednesday morning, a department spokesman explained, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers were seeking a convicted criminal alien ICE fugitive with an outstanding removal order in Metro Nashville July 22 when they were encountered by a small group of protestors. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of all persons involved, ICE personnel subsequently made the decision to depart without making an arrest to deescalate the situation.

ICE conducts targeted enforcement of federal immigration law on a daily basis in accordance with our routine, ongoing operations. In general, ICE continues to focus its enforcement efforts on criminal offenders as nearly 90 percent of persons arrested for violation of federal immigration law during the past year also had either a prior criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge. ICE does not conduct any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement.”

The spokesman also noted it is a crime to impede or obstruct a federal officer who is engaged in their official duties.

READ: Neighbors form human chain after ICE agents attempted to arrest man