SAN DIEGO (AP) – Federal authorities say a notorious human smuggler struck a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the face with a rock after a foiled smuggling attempt in the mountains of eastern San Diego County.
Border Patrol officials say the suspect, Martel Valencia-Cortez, was allegedly smuggling 14 people through rocky terrain near Jacumba Hot Springs Sunday evening when the group was spotted.
As agents moved in, Valencia-Cortez ran to higher ground. Officials say he hurled a softball-sized rock at agents, striking one in the face.
The 14 people he was suspected of smuggling into the U.S. were arrested and interviewed. They identified Valencia-Cortez, who was released from prison in September after serving a term for human smuggling.
He was last spotted fleeing toward Mexico.
The injured agent received treatment for cuts and bruising.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.