Man sets tree on fire, throws rocks to avoid arrest at border

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YUMA, Ariz. – A man attempted to avoid arrest by scaling a tree, setting it on fire and throwing rocks at Yuma Sector Patrol Agents and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection pilot near the Andrade port of entry Friday.

Yuma Sector Border Agents discovered footprints east of the Andrade port of entry Friday around 5:45 p.m., and suspected someone had illegally crossed the border.  Agents called for assistance from CBP Air and a Marine helicopter.

Agents tracked the footprints for almost a mile before they located the suspected man near a tree. The man then scaled the tree, set it on fire and started throwing rocks at both the agents and helicopter. The agents and helicopter were not struck.

The man came down from the tree and was taken into custody. The Winter Haven Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire.

Agents determined the man to be a 31-year-old Honduran who had illegally crossed over into the U.S. The man told them he had been part of one of the migrant caravans.

After he was transported to the Yuma Central Processing Center, they found the man had several prior arrests in Florida and was previously deported from the U.S. in June 2018.

He is being presented for prosecution and removal proceedings.

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