This Week in USBP History, Vol. 13
November 28 - December 4
Newton-Azrak Award Actions
(Upholding Honor First)
Border Patrol Agent
On November 29, 2017, Three Points Border Patrol Agent Osbaldo Rios displayed exceptional composure and courage, saving the lives of his partner and himself. Agent Rios was performing patrol duties in an area located approximately 50 miles southwest of Tucson, and about 15 miles north of the international border with Mexico. Agent Rios and two partners had responded to a ground sensor activation in a remote canyon of the Baboquivari Mountains when they observed a group of five suspected illegal aliens. As the agents closed in, the suspects scattered in multiple directions. The agents gave chase and three suspects were apprehended. One agent maintained custody of those suspects while Agent Rios and his other partner continued pursuit of the remaining two.
His partner observed a suspect and immediately gave chase, physically engaging the suspect as he was attempting to descend a steep embankment. During the physical encounter, Agent Rios partner rolled down the embankment, with the suspect ending atop of him. As the struggle ensued, the suspect struck the agent several times in the face. The event was observed by an Air and Marine Operations aircraft, and relayed to the other agents. During the encounter, the suspect gained control of the agent's sidearm.
As Agent Rios approached his partner's location, he observed the suspect with a firearm pointed at his partner. Agent Rios called out to the suspect to draw his attention and avert him from firing. The suspect looked toward Agent Rios, now aiming the weapon at him. Without hesitation, Agent Rios discharged his service weapon, neutralizing the threat. Agent Rios swift and decisive action resulted in preventing the death or injury of his partner, and himself.
USBP FallenAs of November 11, 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 149* fallen.
The names that appear below hold a place of honor. They have made the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to fulfill the oath each officer took to protect and defend the United States of America.
The facts regarding each officer are presented without major editing of the "language of the day" found in the reports detailing the circumstances of each event. This is done to provide the reader an association with historical timeframes.
Employees who died in the line of duty due to being exposed to deadly illnesses will not have the cause of death listed.
*With the exception of two of the fallen immediately below, all names are listed (or in the process of being included) on the official Honor Roll of U.S. Border Patrol fallen and inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The U.S. Border Patrol should fix these discrepancies. HonorFirst.com honors both of the fallen.
Oscar T. Torres
Date of Birth: April 19, 1937
Entered on Duty: June 19, 1969
Title: Patrol Agent
End of Watch: November 30, 1974
Details:Patrol Agent Oscar T. Torres was assigned the midnight to 8:00 a.m. shift on November 30, 1974, in the El Paso Station area. At approximately 2:30 a.m., he proceeded to the West Railroad Bridge to assist in opening the gates for a train inbound from Mexico.
Agent Torres and Patrol Agent (Trainee) Robert M. Worsham walked onto the bridge to open the gates while Worsham's partner, Patrol Agent Wayne Winn, Jr., remained with an apprehended alien in a Border Patrol vehicle at the end of the bridge. After opening the gates and while walking back toward the vehicle, Agent Torres stumbled and fell headfirst through an opening in the bridge to the river bottom, a distance of 25 feet. The fall was witnessed only by the alien, as Trainee Worsham and Agent Winn were not facing toward Torres when the accident took place.
The officers immediately went to the aid of Agent Torres, and an ambulance soon removed him to Providence Memorial Hospital. He expired at 4:55 a.m., the cause of death being listed as concussion.
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Blog author, retired U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief and, current U.S. Border Patrol employee advocate.
Site founder and owner, former Senior Patrol Agent and retired Immigration Special Agent.
U.S. Border Patrol historian and retired Deputy Chief Patrol Agent.
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