SAN DIEGO – A U.S. Border Patrol agent was knocked off his patrol vehicle and hospitalized after getting hit with a large rock Saturday night, according to border officials.
Eduardo Olmos/Border Patrol Public Affairs Officer
“Since it was very busy this agent was actually patrolling by himself on an ATV when an individual on the Mexican side through a rock hitting him on the chest,” said said Eduardo Olmos, Border Patrol Public Affairs Officer.
The unknown person hurled a “dodgeball-sized” rock around 8:40 p.m., the impact caused the agent to fall off the ATV.
“The ATV flipped over and landed on top of the agent. The agent was able to push the ATV off of himself but had to await back-up to extract himself from the rocking assault,” a news release stated.
Other agents went to the location and used “non-impact crowd dispersal munitions” to get rid of a crowd of people on the south side of the border to leave the area, Scappechio said. The crowd had allegedly attempted to enter the U.S. illegally, he said. Mexican authorities also assisted.
“last night was a foggy night. Smugglers actually try to take advantage of low visibility to try to get their groups across,” said Olmos.
The injured agent was taken to a hospital to be treated for possible broken ribs. He was released Sunday morning and has been placed on administrative leave pending recovery from his injuries, according to Scappechio.
Federal authorities are working with Mexico investigators to find the attacker.
“In the last 24 hours, in the area of the assault alone, approximately seven breaches were made to U.S. border security infrastructure and more than 100 arrests were made by Border Patrol agents,” according to the news release.
“This is an all too common occurrence,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott. “In the fiscal year 2017, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents were assaulted 83 times in the performance of their duties – 52 times in the 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.”