A Border Patrol agent. File photo

An unknown assailant on the Mexican side of the border struck a U.S. Border Patrol agent with a rock, sending him to a hospital, Customs and Border Protection officials said Sunday.

CBP said they believe the assailant and a nearby crowd had made an unsuccessful attempt to illegally enter the United States just before the incident.

At about 8:40 p.m. Saturday, an agent was patrolling the border near Otay Mesa when someone threw a “dodge ball-sized” rock over the border fence, striking the agent in the chest, said Border Patrol Agent Michael Scappechio. As a result, the agent fell to the ground and his ATV flipped over and landed on top of him.

The agent was able to push the ATV off of himself, but the assailant and a crowd of other unknown people were still nearby, forcing him to wait for backup to arrive.

Responding agents deployed “non-impact crowd dispersal munitions” to disperse the crowd and remove the injured agent from the situation, Scappechio said.

The injured agent was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital. He was released earlier Sunday with severe chest contusions, Scappechio said. The agent will remain on administrative leave.

Border Patrol Public Affairs Officer Eduardo Olmos said the attack was in an industrial area of Otay Mesa, just north of the Colonia de Libertad neighborhood in Tijuana and about two miles east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Tijuana Municipal Police also assisted in dispersing the crowd, but made no arrests, Olmos said.

Scappechio said there were seven breaches to U.S. border security infrastructure and more than 100 arrests made by Border Patrol agents in the area of the assault alone.

In the last 24 hours, in the area of the assault alone, approximately seven breaches were made to U.S. border security infrastructure and more than 100 arrests were made by Border Patrol agents.

–City News Service

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