A man caught smuggling fourteen illegal aliens into southern California struck a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the face with a rock. He then managed to escape back into Mexico.
The incident happened about 7 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday and officials identified the suspect on Tuesday.
Authorities report that Martel Valencia-Cortez, 39, was observed bringing fourteen illegal aliens into the U.S. near Jacumba Hot Springs, southeast of San Diego, California, according to a KYMA-NBC11 report. He threw a softball size rock at the approaching agents while trying to get to higher ground. One of the agents was struck in the face with the rock.
The injured agent pulled his weapon and fired several shots at Valencia-Cortez. The suspect managed to evade both the gunfire and capture and quickly crossed the border back into Mexico, Fox5 reported.
Other agents took the fourteen illegal aliens into custody while the injured agent received care.
The suspect, Valencia-Cortez, is apparently well known to agents in the area. He is a Mexican national who has been smuggling illegal aliens since 1997. He was released in September from three-year prison on a previous human smuggling charge, Fox5 reported. He reportedly has a long history of violence towards law enforcement and disregard for human safety. His previous actions to evade arrest include reckless, wrong-way driving on freeways, making threats and brandishing weapons, assaulting officers, and resisting arrest. He is also known to carry firearms when engaged in human smuggling.
This is just one more reminder and should “serve as a bleak reminder of the risk Border Patrol agents encounter in the service of their duties,” Richard Barlow, chief agent with the agency’s San Diego sector, told reporters. He said the San Diego sector will follow all leads to attempt to re-capture this man who is now wanted on federal charges.
“I will not sit back and allow this blatant disregard for the value of human life,” the sector chief told reporters “San Diego Sector will follow all leads and adjust our enforcement posture until [the suspect] is located and arrested. Justice will be served.”
Valencia-Cortez stands 5’ 11” tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He reportedly sports dark hair and eyes, and displays a tattoo on his right shoulder.
The agent is said to have been treated for cuts and bruises and is recovering.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.