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SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol says an off-duty agent jumped into action last week when he saw a man allegedly wielding a large knife toward civilians in downtown San Diego.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. July 19 as the USBP agent and his girlfriend left a restaurant in downtown San Diego. USBP said the agent saw a man slashing a knife through the air and approaching bystanders.

USBP says the off-duty agent quickly instructed everyone to clear the area and asked his girlfriend to call 911. The agent then drew his personal firearm and identified himself as a law enforcement officer while instructing the man to drop his knife, according to USBP.

When the man ignored the agent’s request, USBP says another off-duty law enforcement officer stepped in to assist. The agent and officer detained the man until San Diego Police officers got there and took the suspect into custody.

“As sworn public servants, Border Patrol agents are never really off-duty,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a Monday news release. “This agent’s actions embody CBP core values – vigilance, integrity, and service to country. I am proud of his bravery and composure under pressure.”