By Steve Neavling
A Border Patrol agent who intentionally struck a Guatemalan migrant with his truck in 2017 – and called immigrants “subhuman” – has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor civil rights charge.
Matthew Bowen, a 39-year-old agent stationed in Nogales, faces up to one year in prison after admitting he intentionally struck the 23-year-old migrant while arresting him for illegally crossing the border.
Bowen also has come under fire after text messages surfaced showing he called immigrants “subhuman” and “mindless murdering savages.”
Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, was placed on unpaid suspension in June 2018, shortly after he was indicted on assault charges. As part of a plea agree, Bowen will resign.
A video of the incident showed Bowen “accelerating aggressively” and striking Antolin Lopez Aguilar twice with the front of his truck. Bowen then arrested Lopez.
“During my apprehension of (Antonin Lopez Aguilar), I intentionally struck him with an unreasonable amount of force,” Bowen said, according to documents obtained by The Arizona Republic. “My actions when I struck A.L.-A. were not justified and violated his rights protected by the Constitution of the United States.”