San Ysidro, CA – An illegal alien assaulted two officers from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations just days apart, because authorities failed to have him charged after the first incident.
Juan Carlos Perez-Medina, 34, tried to cross the U.S. border from Mexico, via the San Ysidro Port of Entry, on Nov. 13.
He presented the officer who stopped him with papers that actually said he’d been denied entry to the United States in June of 2015, federal law enforcement sources told Blue Lives Matter.
Perez-Medina became agitated and started pacing back and forth, attracting the attention of another Field Operations officer, Jose Chavez.
Officer Chavez went to back up the first officer, and when he looked down to examine the deportation paperwork, Perez-Medina smashed him on the head with his cell phone.
The blow destroyed the phone and broke the officer’s sunglasses, leaving cuts on his head and face.
Then Perez-Medina turned and ran across the “limit line” back into Mexico, where U.S. authorities could not pursue him.
The “limit line” is an actual line on the ground at U.S. border crossings indicating the actual border with the other country. Most law enforcement entities are not permitted to cross the line in pursuit of a suspect.
Sources said that Perez-Medina attacked Officer Chavez just a few feet away from the “limit line,” giving officers no time to capture him.
Federal Protection Service (FPS) Inspector Linda Garcia took the report on the incident, but said she could not comment. Officer Chavez did not return calls requesting comment.
The very next day, on Nov. 14, Perez-Medina tried to cross the U.S. border again at the same point of entry in San Ysidro, wearing the exact same shirt he wore the day before when he assaulted Officer Chavez, sources said.
Multiple officers at the border recognized Perez-Medina, and he was taken into custody. Sources said that authorities contacted Officer Chavez from the Admissibility Office to confirm Perez-Medina’s identity.
Despite what would seem to be a clear-cut case of assault on a federal law enforcement officer, U.S. authorities decided not to press charges against Perez-Medina for his attack on Officer Chavez, and returned him to Mexico the very next day.
Sources said the case was never referred to the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution, meaning the decision not to charge Perez-Medina for his attack on Officer Chavez was likely made by someone in the Department of Homeland Security.
The reasoning behind the decision was unknown at the time of publication.
Instead of enjoying the perks of his get-out-of-jail-free card, Perez-Medina was back at it again, at the same U.S. border entry point in San Ysidro, only two days later.
Protective Service officers from the General Services Administration were manning Post No. 2 at the east pedestrian entry point when Perez-Medina approached them on Nov. 17, according to the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Nov. 20.
The officers asked Perez-Media what they could do for him, and he became angry and walked back across the line into Mexico.
Then he returned to the U.S. side of the line, and taunted and threatened the officers.
“Did you f**king call me?” Perez-Medina yelled, twice.
Then he told the officers “I’m going to come back and kill you.”
An officer identified as “Officer R.S.” in the complaint saw Perez-Medina coming at him, and put up his hand and told him to stop.
Perez-Medina “lunged and jumped at [Officer R.S.] with a closed right fist and struck him in the right eyebrow and temple,” according to the complaint provided to Blue Lives Matter by the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Officers took Perez-Medina into custody, and transported him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego. His arrest occurred just two days before CBP Agent Rogelio Martinez was murdered while patrolling the U.S. border in Texas.
Perez-Medina was charged with felony assault on a federal officer, according to the complaint.
Blue Lives Matter asked the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office, who is prosecuting Perez-Medina’s assault on Officer R.S., why no charges were filed against him when he was in custody on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 for the assault on Officer Chavez.
“We will be vigorously prosecuting the case based on the allegations stemming from November 17th,” said Deputy U.S. Attorney Mark Conover.
“We will continue to investigate all other additional conduct by this defendant and will bring additional charges as appropriate," Conover said.
FPS had not responded to a request for copies of the police reports from the Nov. 13 assault, and subsequent Nov. 14 arrest, prior to publication.
Perez-Medina’s charging complaint said that he was “last physically removed from the United States to Mexico on or about November 15, 2017, via San Ysidro, California,” confirming federal law enforcement sources’ reported timeline for his arrest in the attack on Officer Chavez.
The complaint also said that Perez-Medina was deported from the United States by an Immigration judge on Aug. 5, 2005, and “physically removed” from the country via San Ysidro later the same day.
The San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office has promised to further research what may have happened in the case of Perez-Medina’s assault on Officer Chavez.
If authorities had charged Perez-Medina with assault on Officer Chavez Nov. 13, he would have been locked up on Nov. 15, and never would have had the opportunity to assault Officer R.S. two days later.
A retired CBP agent told Blue Lives Matter that it’s not uncommon for the agency to disregard assaults on its officers if they’re not injured enough to require hospitalization.
He said there are so many attacks on officers patrolling the borders that the U.S. Attorney’s Office couldn’t begin to keep up with the prosecutions.
“They’ve quadrupled the number of officers patrolling the border over the last 20 years, but they haven’t increased the number of prosecutors or federal marshals proportionately,” he said.
“You add more cops – what happens to the system? The jail gets overloaded. The courts are overloaded. Increasing border control is great, but if you’re not going to support them through the judicial system, what’s the point?” the former CBP agent asked.
A decision by any agency not to prosecute Perez-Medina for his initial Nov. 13 attack on Officer Chavez seems to fly in the face of U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions’ April remarks announcing the Department of Justice’s renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement that he made in a speech at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have directed that all 94 U.S. Attorneys Offices make the prosecution of assault on a federal law enforcement officer — that’s all of you — a top priority. If someone dares to assault one of our folks in the line of duty, they will do federal time for it,” Sessions told his audience of Homeland Security personnel.
However, if an assault on a federal law enforcement official isn’t referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution, there’s no way for them to know about it or prosecute it.
Blue Lives Matter will update this story with more information as soon as we get it.