A Border Patrol agent is positioned by the border fence.
A Border Patrol agent is positioned by the border fence. Photo by Chris Stone

A San Diego man convicted of assault on a federal officer for repeatedly punching a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer in the head at the San Ysidro Port of Entry has been sentenced to more than five years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Rene Robert Ruiz, 55, was found guilty by a federal jury of attacking the unidentified officer on May 17, 2021.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Ruiz yelled obscenities at an officer while in line at the port of entry, then became angered when told he could not enter the United States.

Prosecutors allege he yelled “(Expletive) you, I’m a U.S. citizen, I’m coming in,” and tried to push past an officer. When the officer pushed him back, Ruiz then punched the officer in the head “repeatedly,” causing a concussion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He was sentenced Monday to 68 months in prison.

“This defendant viciously attacked a customs officer completing routine duties at the port of entry,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. “Law enforcement officers — such as the victim here — perform vital services for us all and must be allowed to do their jobs without the risk of harm. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who place their safety and security at risk.”

City News Service contributed to this article.