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A Honduran immigrant reportedly took his own life while in custody after his wife and child were separated from him at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Marco Antonio Muñoz, 29, killed himself in the cell of a Texas jail last month, according to the Starr County sheriff’s department incident report obtained by The Washington Post.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not publicly disclose the death, according to The Post. The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Starr County authorities did not respond to The Washington Post’s requests for comment.
The article goes on to state the following:
Border Patrol agents familiar with the situation told the Post that Muñoz, his wife and three-year-old son were taken into custody after crossing the border into the U.S. near Granjeno, Texas. One agent speaking to the paper on the condition of anonymity said that after the family said they wanted to apply for asylum, they were told they would be separated.
“The guy lost his s–t,” the agent told the Post. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
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The Washington Post further reported that “Muñoz crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and three-year-old son on May 12 near the tiny town of Granjeno, Texas.” He was found dead in his cell the next morning.
Muñoz was placed in a chain-link detention cell, but he began punching the metal and shaking it violently, agents said.
Though Muñoz did not attempt to assault Border Patrol staff, he was at that point considered to be “pre-assault” because he was so agitated. As one agent described it, Muñoz “had the look of a guy at a bar who wanted to fight someone.”
“We had to get him out,” the agent said. “Those cells are about as secure as a dog kennel. He could have hurt someone.”
Unruly detainees typically are taken to local jails where they can be placed in more secure settings or isolation cells, known as administrative segregation. Border Patrol agents found a vacant cell for Muñoz 40 miles away at the Starr County Jail in Rio Grande City. When they attempted to place Muñoz in the van, he tried to run away, and had to be captured and restrained.
“He yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail,” an agent said. Shackled and handcuffed, Muñoz attempted to escape again upon arrival, and once more had to be restrained.
A guard found him dead the next morning.
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