Illegal Alien Robbed, Slain Near Otay Mesa Crossing

Times Staff Writer

A 45-year-old man was killed Wednesday night in what San Diego police described as another robbery and attack on illegal aliens.

Police said four Mexicans met with a guide in Tijuana who aided in smuggling them across the border. The guide then brought the aliens to an area about three-quarters of a mile west of Cactus Road in Otay Mesa, where the aliens were told to lie on the ground and hide, police reported. Shortly thereafter the aliens were robbed by three to five attackers wielding guns and knives.

Elias Gutierrez was stabbed twice in the upper chest during a struggle with his attackers. After the bandits fled, the other aliens ran to the border crossing to alert federal agents. A Life Flight physician pronounced Gutierrez dead at the scene. No one has been arrested.

Gutierrez was the first illegal alien killed this year in connection with the robberies along the border. It was the 12th time this year that illegal aliens have been robbed in the area, police said.

In 1984, 471 illegal aliens, 39 of whom were injured, were victimized in 144 robberies, reported Lt. Jim Clain of the San Diego Police Department's southern division. In the 1984 robberies, five aliens were killed and 13 were raped. Clain said most of the bandits who have been arrested in past robberies are Mexicans who live in Tijuana and cross the border for the robberies.

A Border Crime Prevention Task Force, made up of six San Diego police officers and six Border Patrol agents, was established in January, 1984, to combat the violent attacks on aliens. Clain said that as many as 5,000 aliens cross into the United States daily through Martinez Canyon on Otay Mesa, and that many robberies go unreported.

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