In the early evening of June 17, 2021, U. S. Border Patrol (USBP) tower cameras observed a vehicle picking up two subjects on the side of the road just north of the international border near Lukeville, Arizona. The driver then drove the vehicle north on Arizona State Route 85 at a high rate of speed to avoid USBP agents in the area.
The driver drove erratically and passed both USBP and civilian vehicles at speeds estimated at more than 100 mph. As a result, the agents trying to catch up to the vehicle backed off and maintained only distant visual contact with the fleeing vehicle.
After more than 19 miles, another agent attempted to make a vehicle stop with emergency lights engaged, but the driver did not yield. Approximately 3 miles north of the failure to yield, a supervisory agent deployed a Controlled Tire Deflation Device (CTDD) across the northbound lane of the roadway to stop the vehicle. CTDDs are specialized devices whose deployment results in the controlled deflation of a vehicle tire.
The driver instead swerved to the right and drove around the deployed CTDD on the gravel pullout on the right side of the road. The driver then lost control and began to skid back across the roadway. The vehicle left the road, struck two road signs and a small concrete road support, and crashed in the desert.
All three occupants of the vehicle were injured, and one of the passengers later died at the hospital from his injuries.
Result of the NUFRB
On Jan. 12, 2022, the CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) convened to review this use of force incident. The NUFRB determined that the deployment of the CTDD was in compliance with CBP use of force policy in effect at the time of the incident.
Consistent with their responsibility to review this incident and make recommendations regarding training, tactics, policy, or equipment, the NUFRB made a formal recommendation following their consideration of this incident.