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BP agent dragged 15 feet by car during stop at checkpoint

A man, arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle people past a Border Patrol checkpoint Tuesday afternoon, also faces assault charges after he dragged a Border Patrol agent more than 15 feet during the stop. 

The agent "did not sustain serious injuries during the assault," officials said. 

The Border Patrol agent was working at the Border Patrol checkpoint on State Route 286, state highway that runs from Three Points south to Sasabe, Arizona on the U.S.-Mexico border, about 35 miles southwest of Tucson, and stopped the vehicle around 4 p.m., said a spokesman with Tucson Sector Border Patrol. 

During the stop, the agent believed the vehicle's driver and passengers were connected to a "smuggling event," and he attempted to "secure the vehicle and the occupants," the spokesman said. 

The driver "accelerated, dragging the agent approximately 15 feet down the road before the vehicle came to a stop," he said.

Officials would not identify the agent nor the driver of the vehicle following the agency's years long policy to withhold the names of agents involved in nearly all incidents, as well as those arrested by agents. 

The driver was arrested, and transported to an area hospital for treatment for "chemical substances ingested prior to the incident," the spokesman said. The driver was medically discharged, and now faces charges for human smuggling, as well as assault on a federal agent, he said. 

"The dangers faced by Border Patrol Agents cannot be understated. Agents risk their lives every day to protect the nation in diverse and adverse conditions," the spokesman said. 

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Initial news of the incident came via Twitter, when the Tucson Sector Chief, Roy Villareal wrote: "Last night a human smuggler violently assaulted a #Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agent as he attempted to flee from an immigration checkpoint. More information will be released this morning."

On Monday, an off-duty Border Patrol agent shot and wounded a man during a confrontation at a subdivision in Maricopa, Arizona. 

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