A border patrol agent was injured after a person threw a rock into his vehicle while he was patrolling in Calexico, California, according to the federal agency on June 24.
“[CBPElCentro] had one of its BorderPatrol agents assaulted while patrolling in Calexico. Our Agents face dangers like this one while maintaining the security of our nation,” the federal agency wrote on Twitter, while also posting photos of the agent’s injuries and damage to the patrol vehicle.
@CBPElCentro had one of its #BorderPatrol agents assaulted while patrolling in #Calexico. Our Agents face dangers like this one while maintaining the security of our nation. pic.twitter.com/MLleKATPIo
— CBP El Centro (@CBPElCentro) June 24, 2019
The agency did not provide any details as to the circumstances of the assault or whether they had apprehended the perpetrator.
This is not the first time agents from the federal agency has been assaulted while patrolling along the border.
In March this year, another agent patrolling near the border fence in Calexico, California, was assaulted, CBP said in a statement.
Border patrol said the 33-year-old suspect from Mexico, Josue Gomez-Reyes, approached the female agent’s fully marked patrol vehicle. Gomez-Reyes threw a partial lawnmower blade into the vehicle, which landed on the driver side window. The blade broke through the window and hit the agent’s arm. The agent was injured by the blade and shattered glass.
Despite the injury, the agent immediately chased after the suspect and with the help with other agents, the suspect was arrested.
“It is unacceptable for our Border Patrol agents to come under such a violent attack, but I am extremely proud of the quick determination of our agent to give chase and arrest her attacker,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez, according to the statement.
“Our agent was ambushed while faithfully carrying out her sworn duties as a law enforcement officer by a gang member with a lengthy criminal history here in the United States. Anytime a person chooses to attack a Border Patrol agent, they will know that they are going up against a highly trained professional and that once arrested they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.
Gomez-Reyes was illegally present in the United States at the time of the incident.
In a more recent case, a 44-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico assaulted an agent at Eagle Pass, Texas, in May while agents tried to place him under arrest, according to a CBP statement.
“As agents attempted to apprehend the suspected illegal aliens, a man in the group became combative and struck an agent,” the statement said. “The agent was able to subdue the man and placed him under arrest after a brief struggle. The man was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. The agent was not seriously injured and did not request medical attention.”
The agency said the suspect was previously arrested several times by immigration officials and was deported before in 2000.
They added that the 44-year-old has an extensive criminal history, which includes an aggravated felony conviction in 1998 on multiple counts of transporting and selling narcotics.
CBP has repeatedly warned that the influx of illegal immigrants from Central America in recent months has overwhelmed border patrol facilities and resources and created a humanitarian crisis.
In May, border patrol agents detained more than 132,000 people crossing from Mexico—the highest level over more than a decade. Moreover, during the first seven months of the 2019 fiscal year, 531,711 illegal immigrants crossed the border into the United States, according to CBP data.
The agency’s data also shows that there were 794 incidents of assaults against border patrol agents in the 2018 financial year.
President Donald Trump has previously called the situation at the border a “humanitarian crisis.” He had pushed for a wall to be built on the southern border in order to curb the surge of illegal immigration as well as the inflow of large scale criminal organizations and drug trafficking.