EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent stops his vehicle and gives chase on foot to a group of people who just crossed into the United States near the border wall at Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
While the agent is on a pursuit through the desert, Border Patrol cameras record an individual deliberately coming across from Mexico and walk toward the agent’s parked SUV. Surveillance tape shows the man picking up a large rock and hurling it at the Border Patrol vehicle, breaking the windshield. The individual then runs back to the Mexican side of the border.
Though the agent was unharmed, the March 12 incident prompted Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Agent Gloria I. Chavez to urge her agents to be vigilant against aggression.
“USBP Agents face threats every day on the border,” she tweeted. “Transnational criminal organizations conduct counter-surveillance on our border operations daily. Watch your 6, USBP!”
Assaults against U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel have been on the rise during the first five months of the 2022 fiscal year, CBP figures show. A total of 194 such incidents have been recorded since October, compared to 149 during the same period in FY 2021 – a 30 percent increase.
Most of the assaults involve physical attacks against the agents (101 so far in FY 2022), followed by rock-throwing and vehicular assault. Only in a handful of cases has someone pulled a gun or come at a border agent with a knife, CBP figures show.
“It’s very common for there to be assaults, ” Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told KVEO earlier. “We’ve had agents punched, spit at, kicked, those are the most common. […] We also have more violent attacks where agents are run over, they’ll have their batons grabbed from them, and then attacked, it happens.”
Border Patrol agents are not the only targets of cartel smugglers on the Southern border. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot on Monday tweeted video showing an alleged cartel member pointing an AK-47 rifle at a Department of Public Safety helicopter flying near the U.S.-Mexico border in Starr County.
“Cartel member from Mexico aims at Texas DPS helicopter on patrol,” Abbott tweeted. “God bless @TxDPS for putting their lives at risk to keep us safe.”
Texas has deployed a large number of state troopers to communities near the Mexican border through Operation Lone Star.
The governor’s rationale is that the Border Patrol is overwhelmed due to the historic spike in unauthorized migration that followed the change of guard at the White House and reportedly has members of the Biden administration convinced will rise yet again if the Title 42 public health order is lifted.