This Week in USBP History, Vol. 12
November 21 - November 27
Newton-Azrak Award Actions (Upholding Honor First)
Robert E. Lindemann
Senior Patrol Agent
On November 24, 1994, two small children were kidnapped in Windsor, Ontario, Canada by a suspect who had three warrants in Canada for Threats to Cause Death and Assault. The suspect, with the abducted children, then illegally entered the United States by running through the Port of Entry at Detroit, Michigan, in his vehicle.
Senior Patrol Agent Robert E. Lindemann immediately commenced an investigation into the incident. After a diligent investigation, utilizing numerous sources, Agent Lindemann was able to locate the abducted children in a barricaded house where he safely rescued the children. Agent Lindemann then returned the children back to the Canadian Police authorities and their grateful mother.
During this international incident, Agent Lindemann exhibited exemplary self-motivation in initiating this investigation. His professional demeanor in this incident reflects the highest standards of competence of the Border Patrol.
Border Patrol Agent
For heroic actions to save a deputy and hospital staff from a violent felon. On November 21, 2012, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Armando Ledezma was assigned to hospital watch duties at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Yuma, Arizona. He heard a nurse shouting for security and immediately responded to the room from which the nurse had exited. As he entered the room, he saw a tall, heavyset man moving on the floor. As Agent Ledezma attempted to gain control of the man, he discovered that the subject was an inmate who had pinned an exhausted sheriff’s deputy to the floor and was struggling for the deputy’s holstered service weapon. At great personal risk, Agent Ledezma kept the inmate from getting the deputy’s weapon. Agent Ledezma grabbed one of the inmate’s hands, allowing the deputy to secure his weapon and control the inmate’s other hand. Agent Ledezma then handcuffed the inmate, ending the scuffle. Agent Ledezma’s brave actions and quick thinking saved the deputy from death or injury.
As 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.
Thomas K. Byrd
Date of Birth: September 12, 1954
Entered on Duty: August 19, 1983
Title: Border Patrol Agent (Trainee)
End of Watch: November 21, 1983
Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) Thomas K. Byrd was struck by an eastbound vehicle at about 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of November 21, 1983, when the motorcycle on which he was a passenger, lost control. The owner and driver of the motorcycle, Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) James Hearne, was unable to see a vehicle making a left-hand turn as he and Agent Byrd left the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to drop off a payment for class T-shirts that had been promised to the vendor by close of business on that date. Apparently, when Agents Hearne and Byrd left the training center, the sun was positioned in front of them in such a manner as to make visibility very difficult. When Agent Hearne realized that a vehicle in front of him was about to make a stop (or turn) it was too late to make a safe stop. Agent Hearne made a correction to the left side of the vehicle in an effort to avoid the collision, but lost control of the motorcycle in the attempt. The motorcycle fell to the ground throwing Agent Hearne into the path of the oncoming traffic. However, Agent Byrd was struck by a vehicle in the oncoming traffic and dragged for some distance. He was rushed to Brunswick Memorial Hospital by ambulance, where all efforts to save him failed. He was pronounced dead at approximately 7:00 p.m. by the attending physician. Both Agents Byrd and Hearne were attending the 151th Session of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, Glynco, Georgia, when the accident occurred. Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) Byrd was a high academic achiever and was regarded with high esteem by the members of his class.
John D. Keenan
Date of Birth: February 11, 1953
Entered on Duty: November 16, 1987
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: November 27, 1989
At about 3:50 a.m., on November 27, 1989, Border Patrol Agent John D. Keenan was involved in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 83 at FM-492 near Mission, Texas. He was operating a Service vehicle and was driving east on U.S. Highway 83 when a northbound vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed on FM- 492 failed to yield the right-of-way, causing the accident. Patrol Agent Keenan died at the scene from multiple injuries sustained in the accident.
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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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