U.S. Border Patrol Agent Julian T. LiDrazzah was honored for his heroic actions that saved the lives of a mother and child trapped in the Rio Grande River border with Mexico.
Agent LiDrazzah was presented the Congressional Law Enforcement Badge of Bravery by Ana Maria Garcia, South Texas Regional Director for Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Acting Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak on November 2.
The award was presented on behalf of Senator Cornyn and the United States Congress for LiDrazzah’s actions on April 11, 2014 when he risked his life to save a woman and her child who became trapped in the flood ravaged Rio Grande River.
The citation accompanying the award states:
On April 11, 2014, Agent LiDrazzah responded to a group of 11 subjects attempting to cross the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass. Recent heavy rain and flooding caused high water levels and a strong current, making the Rio Grande River more dangerous than usual. Agent LiDrazzah risked his own life by entering unpredictable waters to rescue an exhausted mother and her child after he witnessed them disappear underwater approximately 25 yards from where he stood.
Without hesitation, Agent LiDrazzah jumped into the river and fought fierce currents to reach the mother and child to pull them to shore. Once on shore, Agent LiDrazzah immediately administered emergency treatment to the frightened young child and distraught mother. Because of the agent’s quick, life-saving actions, they suffered no ill-effects from their ordeal.
“Agent LiDrazzah’s act of heroism is indicative of his profound character,” Chief Hudak said in a written statement. “Placing the lives of strangers above his own not only demonstrates Agent LiDrazzah’s high regard for human life, but this selfless act also serves as an example of the true humanitarians proudly serving in the United States Border Patrol.”
The Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery was created by public law in 2008 to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty, Border Patrol officials wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. It is awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General to federal, state, and local law enforcement.
The qualifications to receive the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Honor are listed by the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs website as:
- Sustained a physical injury while –
- Engaged in the lawful duties of the individual, and
- Performing an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination, and
- Being at personal risk; or
- Although not injured, performed an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination that placed the individual at risk of serious physical injury or death.
In September, two other Border Patrol agents were presented the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery for their actions to save the lives of an illegal immigrant who was crossing the river in the same area and was in danger of drowning.
The actions by Border Patrol Agents Mark Garcia and Josue Gonzalez that led to their recognition arose from an attempt by an illegal immigrant to cross the Rio Grande River during a time when the river was swollen from heavy rains, causing exceptionally strong currents, Breitbart Texas reported in September. Gonzales and Garcia, along with other agents assigned to the Eagle Pass, Texas, area received a report of a large group of adults and children attempting to cross the river, information provided by U.S. Border Patrol Spokesman Dennis Smith to Breitbart Texas revealed.