SAN DIEGO — A man convicted of assaulting a Customs and Border Protection officer at the San Ysidro Port of Entry was sentenced in federal court to nearly 6 years in prison, The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced in a news release Tuesday.
55-year-old Rene Robert Ruiz was found guilty by a jury of attacking a CBP officer on May 17, 2021 while attempting to enter the United States from Mexico.
On the day of the incident, Ruiz was irate as he approached the front of the line to cross the border, refusing to show documentation that he was a U.S. citizen, according to trial testimony and court records, said U.S. Attorney’s Office Director of Media Relations Kelly Thornton.
When told he could not enter until he calmed down, Ruiz responded “F*** you, I’m a U.S. citizen,” and tried to push past an officer and enter the country, Thornton said.
The officer attempted to push Ruiz back across the border limit line when Ruiz started punching the officer in the head while the officer tried to restrain him, leaving the officer with a concussion and other injuries, officials said.
Ruiz was found guilty of two counts of assault on a federal officer on October 13, 2021 after a two-day federal jury trial.
At a sentencing hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel sentenced Ruiz to 68 months in prison, saying that Ruiz assaulted a man who was just doing his job. Curiel added that Ruiz’s assault was the culmination of a “30-year history of violence and disregard for law enforcement, including his self-admitted leadership role in a violent motorcycle gang,” according to officials.
A restitution hearing for what financial penalty Ruiz owes the officer he assaulted is scheduled for August 29.