A San Diego Customs and Border Protection agent gave CNN a firsthand account of events at the US border in Tijuana over the weekend, describing migrants who attacked agents as “adult males” who used women and children as shields before assaulting agents with rocks.
Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott on Monday described migrants who stormed the border Sunday were mostly adult males who weren’t interested in seeking asylum.
“I kind of challenge that this was a peaceful protest, or that the majority of these people were claiming asylum. We ended up making about 42 arrests – only 8 of those were females and there were only a few children involved. The vast majority were adult males.”
During Scott’s testimony, CNN aired images of women and children at the confrontation.
Scott said caravan members who participated in the Sunday siege at the US border in Tijuana flung rocks at agents outfitted in tactical gear and damaged CBP windows and vehicles.
“The group immediately started throwing rocks and debris at our agents, taunting the agents. Once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing we had two or three agents at a time initially facing hundreds of people at a time. They deployed tear gas to protect themselves and protect the border.”
Scott said migrants were able to breach a portion of a dilapidated border wall made of sheet metal which has yet to be reinforced with new wall infrastructure.
“What I saw on the border yesterday was not people walking up to Border Patrol agents and asking to claim asylum. Matter of fact, one of the groups I watched… they passed 10 or 15 marked Border Patrol agents walking West to East, numerous uniformed personnel, as they were chanting, waving the Honduran flag and throwing rocks at the agents.”
Here’s moment right before shot bang. You can see some rocks being thrown. pic.twitter.com/p0M9p7Rx4G
— WendyFry (@WendyFry_) November 25, 2018
“If they were truly asylum seekers, they would have just walked up with their hands up and surrendered, but that did not take place,” he added.
Agent Scott further stated he found it “unconscionable” that the group exploited children in their mission to harm Border Patrol agents.
“What we saw over and over yesterday was that the group – the ‘caravan’ as we call them – would push women and children towards the front and then begin basically rocking our agents.”