October 7, 2019 – In Breaking News – AZ Central
A U.S. Border Patrol agent died Sunday after responding to a triggered sensor at a remote part of the Arizona border east of Nogales, the Tucson Sector chief said.
Roy Villareal, the chief patrol agent, told reporters that Agent Robert Hotten, 44, was working with two other border agents on Sunday afternoon, responding to what appeared to be a group of migrants who had activated a ground sensor near Mount Washington, south of Patagonia at the Coronado National Forest.
After several hours of trying to contact him on the radio with no response, the agents began to search for Hotten in that area, finding him unconscious at about 4:15 p.m., Villareal said.
(See Press Conference regarding line of duty death of Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten. Courtesy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and YouTube. Posted on Oct 7, 2019.)
“When Agent Hotten was found unresponsive, it appears that he had fallen and may have hit his head on some rocks, but again at this stage we don’t know that was the cause of death,” he said during a Monday afternoon news conference in Tucson.
Agents immediately began providing first aid, but they were hampered by the mountainous terrain where they found Hotten, Villareal said.
Villareal described their actions as a “heroic effort.”
Last night, we lost one of our own, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten. Agent Hotten was found unresponsive while on patrol in AZ. Agent Hotten, Class 910, served for 10 years in USBP. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, son, loved ones, and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/yDDKOg6Pun
— Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 7, 2019
Responding agents performed CPR on Hotten for nearly two hours before deciding to carry him on foot for nearly a quarter of mile.
It took almost 25 minutes to reach the point where he could be airlifted.
Hotten was transported to a hospital in Nogales, where doctors pronounced him dead on Sunday night.
Villareal said the FBI was investigating Hotten’s death.
Even though the agency had initially ruled out foul play, the chief said that “because we cannot rule out foul play or this being an accident, the FBI has opted to take the lead.”
Today, we celebrated the life of Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten. We stand shoulder to shoulder with his loved ones and colleagues in uniform to mourn Agent Hotten who dedicated his life to public service. He will be missed but never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/AJXEsMSXXv
— Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 14, 2019
Hotten was responding to the triggered sensor by himself, as is customary for border agents, the agency said.
Villareal added that they believe the group of about seven migrants had activated the ground sensor near Mount Washington just after 1 p.m. Sunday.
“One individual was arrested. That person is currently being detained and pending an interview with the FBI,” he added.
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten, both blood and blue. Thank you for your bravery in serving the citizens of the United States, with pride and distinction. You will not be forgotten.
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