SAN YSIDRO, Calif.— A U.S. Border Patrol agent was knocked off his All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and subsequently hospitalized after being struck with a large rock Saturday night.
On Dec. 30, 2017, at approximately 8:40 P.M., an unknown assailant hurled a dodge ball sized rock from the Mexican side of the border and struck a Border Patrol agent patrolling the border on an ATV. The rock hit the agent in the chest and caused him to fall from his moving ATV. The agent was traveling at a speed slightly above 20-miles-per-hour when he was struck. The ATV flipped over and landed on top of the agent. The agent was able to push the ATV off of himself but had to await back-up to extract himself from the rocking assault.
Agents responded to the scene shortly thereafter and deployed non-impact crowd dispersal munitions to disperse suspected rock throwers and extract the agent from the volatile scene. It is suspected that the crowd of people south of the border fence had just made an unsuccessful attempt at illegally entering the United States. Mexican law enforcement authorities were also contacted and aided in dispersing the crowd.
Border Patrol agents moved the injured agent to a safe location and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) treated him for difficulty breathing, dizziness and what appeared to be a chest injury. EMS transported the agent to a nearby hospital.
The agent was held overnight at the hospital for observation and released late on Sunday morning with severe chest contusions. The agent has been placed on administrative leave pending recovery from his injuries.
Federal authorities are working diligently with their counterparts in Mexico to locate the assailant who is still at large.
In the last 24 hours, in the area of the assault alone, approximately seven breaches were made to U.S. border security infrastructure and more than 100 arrests were made by Border Patrol agents.
“This is an all too common occurrence,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott. “In Fiscal Year 2017, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents were assaulted 83 times in the performance of their duties and 52 times in Fiscal Year 2016. The safety and well-being of our agents remains our top priority and we will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring the assailant to justice.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.