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Man hurt trying to climb border fence; U.S. agents open gate to offer aid

Agents were called by the Tijuana Fire Department around 7:30 a.m. and told that the man had injured his ankle when he fell at a location about eight miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
(Gregory Bull / AP)

Border Patrol agents opened a maintenance gate and rescued a 41-year-old Mexican man who fell off the border fence on Otay Mountain and injured himself as he tried to enter the U.S. illegally early Tuesday.

Agents were called by the Tijuana Fire Department around 7:30 a.m. and told that the man had injured his ankle when he fell at a location about eight miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Mexican officials said they were unable to get to him because of the rugged terrain and requested assistance.

The man, apparently suffering from a broken ankle, was immediately south of the fence, about 400 yards north of the international boundary with Mexico. Agents unlocked a nearby maintenance gate on the border fence to get to him, officials said.

He was taken to the bottom of west Otay Mountain to a waiting ambulance about five miles west of where he fell.

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After he is treated in a U.S. hospital for his injuries, the man will face deportation proceedings, a Border Patrol spokesman said.

“Our job is to enforce the laws of the United States, but the preservation of life is always a top priority,” San Diego sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said in a statement. “With inclement weather approaching this area, a likely tragedy was avoided because of our agents’ quick response and concern for others.”

Kucher writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

karen.kucher@sduniontribune.com

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