A Border Patrol agent patrolling the border on an ATV was hospitalized after being assaulted with a large rock. The attack occurred a few miles east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in a known human smuggling area.
A Border Patrol agent assigned to the Chula Vista station sustained injuries after being “rocked” while patrolling along the border just north of Libertad Colonia, Border Patrol Agent Eduardo Olmos confirmed to Breitbart Texas on Sunday. The attacker struck the agent with a dodge ball sized rock as he patrolled on an ATV about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The agent was traveling about 20 m.p.h. when struck by the rock.
The agent patrolled along the primary fenceline in what Agent Olmos described as foggy conditions. “The smugglers take advantage of the fog to smuggle larger numbers of people across the border while the cameras have reduced visibility,” Olmos stated.
A group of people gathered along the southern side of the fence. It appears one of these people threw a large rock that struck the agent in the chest — knocking him off his ATV. “This is a very serious attack,” Olmos explained.
The force of the impact forced the ATV to flip over onto the agent. He managed to pull the vehicle off while he waited for backup agents to arrive. Responding agents used “non-impact crowd dispersal munitions” to disperse the rock-throwing crowd, officials stated. The agents then extricated the agent from the scene.
Border Patrol agents notified Mexican law enforcement authorities of the attack. Mexican police responded and dispersed the crowd. No arrests were made.
Olmos said EMT certified agents responded quickly to the scene and provided emergency medical care. The agent complained of difficulty breathing, dizziness, and possible broken ribs. An ambulance then transported the injured agent to a local hospital where he was admitted for his injuries.
Doctors treated the agent for a contusion on the right side of his chest. The doctors released the agent about 4 a.m. and he received a few days off work to recuperate from his injury.
The area is a well known human smuggling area. Assaults on agents are frequent in this area.
“This is an all too common occurrence.” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott. “In Fiscal Year 2017, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents were assaulted 83 times in the performance of their duties. 52 times in Fiscal Year 2016. The safety and well-being of our agents remains our top priority, and we will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring the assailant to justice.”
Another Border Patrol agent was assaulted in November while working an immigration checkpoint in East County. The agent had to be hospitalized after a vehicle attempting to avoid inspection struck a metal sign which struck the agent in the head, Breitbart Texas reported. An ambulance transported the agent to a local hospital for treatment for a concussion. The person who allegedly assaulted the agent has not yet been charged with assaulting a federal agent. Breitbart Texas confirmed with Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael J. Scappechio that the case is being prosecuted only as a human smuggling case.
Year-end numbers for Fiscal Year 2017 show a 27 percent increase over the previous year in assaults on Border Patrol agents, Breitbart Texas reported. A total of 786 agents were assaulted in 324 incidents over the period ending September 30, 2017.
More than 100 agents have been assaulted during the first three months of Fiscal Year 2018 which began on October 1, CBP officials reported.
During the Christmas weekend, agents in Texas and Arizona came under gunfire. One agent working on a boat on the Rio Grande River was shot in the head by someone firing a small caliber handgun from the Mexican side of the river. Other agents were fired on after a driver who was allegedly smuggling two illegal immigrants fled from a checkpoint to avoid inspection.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information provided to Breitbart Texas by Border Patrol officials.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.