Illegal Immigrant Charged With Murder of Florida Officer

Illegal Immigrant Charged With Murder of Florida Officer
Vergilio Aguilar Mendez. (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)
Naveen Athrappully

An illegal alien teen has been charged with murdering a police officer from Florida. The officer died after a six-minute struggle with the suspect.

The illegal immigrant, 18-year-old Vergilio Aguilar Mendez from Guatemala, was seen by Sergeant Michael Kunovich in St. Augustine, Florida, on the evening of May 19. Mendez was sitting in the dark outside a closed business. Kunovich attempted a pat down to check for weapons but Mendez pulled away and tried to flee. More deputies arrived at the scene while Mendez continued to resist.

While fighting on the ground, Mendez attempted to take hold of Kunovich’s Taser and continued to “resist violently” for more than six minutes, according to a May 20 press release by St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJSO), Florida. After Mendez was handcuffed and his pocket knife was confiscated, Kunovich collapsed. Though fire and rescue personnel engaged in “lifesaving measures,” Kunovich was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to Flagler Hospital.

Kunovich was a 25-year veteran of the SJSO. Mendez was charged with resisting with violence and felony murder. He is in St. Johns County jail and has not been granted bail. Funeral services for Kunovich were held on Friday, May 26.

Meanwhile, Florida’s Republican Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis criticized the Biden administration’s policies as he talked about Kunovich’s death in a May 26 tweet. “Sergeant Michael Kunovich was killed in the line of duty by an illegal immigrant who took advantage of our open border.”

“Our prayers go out to the Kunovich family and the entire @SJSOPIO community during this time. Joe Biden’s reckless immigration policies are deadly—it is no way to run a country.

According to St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick, Kunovich died from medical issues. “The suspect chose to try to remove a knife from the left-hand pocket of his pants and the struggle was on with Sgt. Michael Kunovich until the next deputy sheriff showed up 37 seconds later,” he said, according to First Coast News.

“Ultimately Sgt. Michael Kunovich succumbed basically to some medical issues that actually were induced by the struggle with our subject.”

Since Mendez has been identified as having entered the country illegally, he could face deportation rather than a criminal trial.

Illegal Immigrant Felons

According to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of noncitizens with criminal convictions arrested by border patrol has increased exponentially over the past few years. In fiscal year 2020, there were 2,438 arrests.

This jumped to 10,763 in fiscal 2021 and then to 12,028 in fiscal 2022. So far this fiscal year, border patrol has arrested 5,193 individuals.

The number of criminal noncitizens arrested for assault, battery, and domestic violence crossed 1,000 to hit 1,178 in fiscal 2021. In fiscal 2022, 1,142 arrests were related to such criminal convictions.

Ever since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the country has witnessed a massive surge in illegal immigrants entering via the Southwest border.

CBP data shows that border patrol encountered 458,088 illegal aliens attempting to cross the Southwest border in fiscal 2020 during the Trump administration.

This jumped to 1.73 million in fiscal 2021 under Biden and then to 2.38 million in fiscal 2022. During the first six months of fiscal year 2023, there have already been 1.22 million encounters. This does not account for those who cross the border illegally without being caught.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recently introduced a measure to impeach Biden. During a May 18 press conference, the Republican lawmaker said that “Joe Biden has deliberately compromised our national security by refusing to enforce immigration laws and secure our border.”

Greene cited figures that over six million illegal aliens have entered the United States under Biden. “His administration has willfully refused to maintain operational control as required by the law.”