A border patrol agent was assaulted by an illegal alien who had unlawfully crossed the U.S. border into Arizona last Friday.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the alien “grabbed the agent's radio and collapsible steel baton and began striking him in the face and head while he also attempted to remove the agent's sidearm from its holster.”
In response, the border agent shot the assailant, who died after other agents were unable to resuscitate him, the agency reported.
The agent walked away with quite a few unwanted souvenirs, including lacerations to his face, head and torso, one gash that required stitching, and a concussion. He’s since been placed on administrative leave.
This mostly-fortunate agent joins a long list of agents who’ve recently been assaulted by illegal aliens at the border. Back in April, a team of border agents was pelted with rocks while trying to apprehend a group of marijuana smugglers. Another got hit with a football-sized rock by an illegal alien Mexican national back in January.
Just last week, an agent was assaulted by a scout during an operation to apprehend human and narcotics smugglers.
Friday's incident marks the first use of a firearm by a border patrol agent in the Yuma Sector of the Southwest border so far in FY2016, according to CBP’s online database.
Despite getting pretty well beaten in the face, the agent’s use of force is actually a bit surprising considering how hard CBP has cracked down on agents’ use of force against illegal aliens in recent years. Under the direction of CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowski, agents' use of force declined 26 percent between FY2014 and FY2015.
In FY2015, border agents used force against an individual 659 times. Out of these, CBP reports only 23 cases in which a firearm was used.
So far this fiscal year, CBP reports border agents have only used firearms in nine instances, down from 17 during the same time period last year. Border agents have used non-lethal force methods a reported 350 times.
Conversely, assaults on border agents have risen 16 percent since the same time frame in FY2015. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, CBP reports there have been 281 assaults against the agency’s law enforcement personnel, up from 245 over the same time period last year.
Of these, 239 were against border agents.