Border Patrol agents are reporting an act of violence from a Honduran caravan migrant.
According to reports, on Friday, a Honduran man hurled rocks at agents in Arizona, and then set a tree on fire.
After being arrested he turned out to have a criminal record and was previously deported.
AZ Central reported that at about 5:45 p.m., on Friday, Border Patrol agents discovered footprints from a man who had crossed the border illegally east of the Andrade, California, port of entry.
Border Patrol agents called in helicopter air support and were able to track the man for almost a mile until he was found near a tree, according to the news release.
Officials say the man — later found to be a 31-year-old Honduran national — then climbed the tree, set the tree on fire and began throwing rocks at agents on the ground and at the helicopter. The agents and helicopter were not struck by the rocks, and no injuries or damage were reported.
The man eventually came down from the tree, was taken into custody and transported to the Yuma Central Processing Center, the news release said.
President Trump said that rocks thrown by migrants will be considered “firearms” and troops guarding the border will be authorized to use lethal force if necessary.
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The Border Patrol reported the first major instance of migrant caravan-related violence Saturday, saying a Honduran man threw rocks at agents to try to keep from being arrested Friday in Arizona.
The 31-year-old, whom authorities didn’t name, had climbed a tree to try to avoid capture, then lit the tree afire and began to throw rocks at the agents as well as a helicopter called in to help track him.
Neither the agents nor the helicopter were hit by the projectiles.
The man was eventually arrested, and agents said he told them he was part of the migrant caravan that had been in the news. They said he had previous arrests in the U.S. and had been deported back in June.
A local fire department had to be called to extinguish the fire.
Caravan members totaling as many as 10,500 have been massing on the Mexican side of the border in recent weeks, Homeland Security officials say.
While many images of the caravan show women and children, U.S. authorities say a majority of members are single adults, predominantly men, from Central America. That would make the Honduran man’s claims of caravan membership plausible.
President Trump last month had specifically warned of the danger of rock-throwing by caravan members, and had said agents should treat rock-throwers as if they were using firearms.
Indeed, rock-throwing, or “rocking” incidents, as they’re known to agents, can be violent encounters, often involving small boulders hefted at agents or their vehicles with enough force to shatter bones or dent trucks.