An illegal immigrant was sentenced this week to five years in prison for trying to kill a Border Patrol agent by drowning him in a Texas creek.
Edgar Garrido-Miranda also faces deportation when his term is completed.
Agents say he was part of a group of illegal immigrants spotted in Zacate Creek, in Laredo, in August 2017. When agents jumped into the water to try to apprehend the group, they scattered.
One agent grabbed Garrido-Miranda’s shirt, but the migrant turned the tables and dragged the agent deep into the creek, grabbed his uniform shirt and pushed him completely under the water down onto his back.
“At this point, I realized I was fighting for my life,” Agent Leonardo Figueras Cruz told the court.
He managed to swing his arm out of the water, with flashlight in hand, and struck Garrido-Miranda, stunning him and giving Agent Figueras enough time to steal a breath, and other agents a chance to come to the rescue, pulling Garrido-Miranda away.
SEE ALSO: Assaults on ICE, Border Patrol surge as illegal immigrants get more violent
Agents said there was no doubt Garrido-Miranda was trying to kill one of them. He could have fled with the others in the group, but instead stayed to hold Agent Figueras under water.
They said the foot guide who’d led the migrants was egging Garrido-Miranda on, shouting in Spanish, “F—- him up! Fight him!”
Agent Figueras suffered bruises and had to be treated for a throat infection after swallowing contaminated water from the creek.
Assaults on Border Patrol agents have risen in recent years as agents say migrants are increasingly ready to fight rather than flee.
The government recorded 856 assaults in 2017, making it the most violent year of the decade with 28 assaults per every 10,000 apprehensions.
The judge in the attempted drowning case commended the Border Patrol agents for their restraint, saying they could easily have decided to shoot Garrido-Miranda instead.