March 31, 2014 – Use of Force Incident on the Tohono O’Odham Nation Reservation near San Miguel, Arizona
On March 31, 2014, a Border Patrol Agent was parked near the intersection of Federal Route 19 and San Miguel East Road, on the Tohono O’Odham Nation Reservation near the small village of San Miguel, Arizona.
The agent was standing next to his marked Border Patrol vehicle, which was approximately 42 feet from the edge of the roadway, when he heard another vehicle, glanced up, and saw a pickup truck stop in the southbound lane of Route 19.
The driver of the vehicle suddenly turned left, exited the roadway and accelerated in the agent’s direction. The agent attempted to jump into his vehicle but was not able to get his legs completely inside before the truck impacted his vehicle and slammed the door on his left lower leg and right foot.
With his legs still pinned by the driver’s door and believing that the operator of the vehicle still presented a threat, the agent drew his CBP handgun and discharged it at the driver. The agent fired seven rounds in approximately two to three seconds, striking the driver and one of the passengers in the truck. As the agent discharged his weapon, the truck began to pull away and fled the scene.
The driver and the other occupants of the truck were apprehended a short time later and were provided with medical assistance. It was later determined that the driver and the two other occupants had been drinking alcohol to a point of drunkenness, and that the driver had stated “check this out” and “watch this” before he drove off the road and impacted the side of the agent’s vehicle.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the application of force was in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.
The NUFRB made no formal recommendations on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.