CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA.- A Venezuelan man and a woman are accused of assaulting a U.S. Border Patrol agent after illegally crossing the border in El Paso’s Lower Valley, FBI officials said.
Kevin Escalona Gonzalez, 35, and Yuleixy Nazaret Mata Fuentes, 27, face charges of assaulting a federal officer during a Halloween morning confrontation after an agent stopped them in a neighborhood next to Ascarate Park, said the FBI, which investigates assaults on federal officers.
According to a federal complaint document, the incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 31 when the border agent was notified by a control center that a large migrant group was crossing through a fence next to the César Chávez Border Highway. The group ran across the highway and split up and scattered into a neighborhood.
The agent got out of his vehicle and went up to Gonzalez and Fuentes and in Spanish ordered them to stop, but they ran. Ultimately, the agent caught up to the pair in the driveway of a house, the complaint states.
The complaint alleges that Gonzalez offered the agent $800 USD to let them go free, which the agent declined.
The agent “observed an object in Gonzalez’s right hand” and attempted to handcuff Gonzalez, who allegedly pulled away and pushed the agent in the chest with the object, causing the agent “to lose his footing and fall to the ground,” the document states. The unknown object was later identified as a cell phone.
The agent “immediately attempted to regain control of Gonzalez by grabbing onto his legs and arms. In doing so. Gonzalez pulled away from the (agent) causing the (agent) to sustain cuts to his left wrist.”
The agent “realizing that he was being dragged, elected to let go of Gonzalez, stand up and deploy his baton,” the complaint states. As Gonzalez allegedly continued to refuse commands to comply, the agent hit Gonzalez’s left leg with the baton.
While doing so, Fuentes allegedly punched the left side of the agent’s back before the agent pushed Fuentes away and ultimately gained compliance, handcuffed Gonzalez, and detained Fuentes until the arrival of Border Patrol backup, the document states.