Violence against Border Patrol agents continued to spiral this week with authorities reporting one agent held at gunpoint by an illegal immigrant in California, and two agents in Arizona facing attacks by hand.
In the California incident agents responded Monday morning to a report that two illegal immigrants had been detected crossing the border on foot. The first man was apprehended without any problem, but the second, Hector Rodriguez-Chavez, aimed a loaded Star Echeverria pistol at an agent.
The agent and Rodriguez struggled for the gun, and even the help of two other agents was not enough to pry the weapon from Rodriguez’s hand, the agents said in court documents.
Finally, one of the agents used his taser on Rodriguez, who dropped the pistol and stopped resisting.
Agents later found that he’d been deported back to Mexico at least five times before, dating back more than 20 years. His most recent ouster was in October 2017. He also had convictions in the U.S. for violent drug crimes and firearms offenses.
“Our agents’ vigilance prevented this dangerous person from illegally re-entering our communities,” said Rodney S. Scott, chief agent for the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector.
The Arizona assaults both happened Tuesday.
In one, agents were trying to arrest four illegal immigrants when one of them, a 25-year-old Guatemalan man, threw dirt in an agent’s face then swung his belt, trying to use the buckle as a weapon to strike the agent.
He was subdued and put into a vehicle, where he then spit in another agent’s face, authorities said.
Hours later another Guatemalan man, who’d previously been deported, was caught sneaking back in by an agent and his canine.
The 36-year-old man started striking the agent, but he was eventually subdued. Authorities said they discovered he’d been deported just six months ago.
One agent was taken to the hospital for an evaluation of injuries, but has been released.
The assaults came after Sunday’s violence at the border in California, which saw a mob puncture the border fence and attempt to overwhelm the Border Patrol and push through into the U.S.
Agents repelled the incursion by firing tear gas — a move that’s drawn condemnation from some immigrant-rights advocates who said those involved in the assault should have been welcomed and allowed to apply for asylum.
The Border Patrol says the agents followed protocols in using the tear gas, and were obeying rules dating back to the Obama administration.