A U.S. Border Patrol agent was nearly struck by a vehicle being operated by an alleged drug smuggler in southern Arizona. The suspect was stopped after a 30-mile pursuit on two tires.
The driver of a Dodge RAM pick-up truck entered the Casa Grande Checkpoint. During his initial encounter with agents, a K-9 agent alerted to the scent of narcotics. The driver was referred to a secondary inspection station, according to information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to Breitbart Texas.
Instead of moving forward to the secondary inspection station, the driver reportedly accelerated in the direction of a Border Patrol agent. The agent managed to throw down spike strips and narrowly avoided being struck by the vehicle.
The spike strips disabled two of the vehicle’s tires, but the driver, a U.S. citizen, continued ahead and led other Border Patrol agents on a chase that went on for 30 miles. As the chase moved up on Federal Route 15, other agents ahead of the chase were able to deploy additional spike strips. These strips took out the two remaining tires.
After agents disabled the vehicle, the suspect attempted to flee on foot but was captured immediately by agents at the scene.
A search of the vehicle revealed the man attempted to kill the Border Patrol agent over a mere 56 pounds of marijuana. The value of his load was estimated to be $27,800.
Once taken into custody, the man was identified as being a parolee from the Arizona Department of Corrections. His identity was not released by CBP officials.
The suspect has been placed in custody and faces charges related to the drug load, assaulting the Border Patrol agent and the pursuit.
“The agent showed incredible fortitude, maintaining the presence of mind to deploy spike strips in an attempt to prevent the driver from inflicting harm to others,” Tucson Sector Chief Paul Beeson said of the agent who was nearly struck by the fleeing suspect. “The agent’s quick thinking and composure reinforces the importance of utilizing safe tactics and the necessity for our agents to remain vigilant at all times.”
While covering a small sector of the border, the Tucson Sector accounted for 20 percent of all of the 2015 assaults on Border Patrol agents.