Authorities arrest two in off-duty Border Patrol agent’s beating

Fernando Puga is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

Two men accused of attacking an off-duty Border Patrol agent last week are now in custody.

On June 9, the victim was found just before midnight off Shalem Colony Trail west of Las Cruces, officials said.

The 30-year-old man suffered several cuts to his head and arms, authorities said.

Earlier that day, the off-duty agent had been helping his mother at her tamale stand in northeast El Paso when he was confronted by Sergio Ivan Vanegas-Quinonez, 33, and Fernando Puga, 31, authorities said.

The victim’s mother said the two men purchased tamales from the stand and ate them, according to court documents.

She also said she heard one of the men saying their vehicle had broken down due to transmission problems.

According to court documents, the victim said he didn’t know the two men, and they said that if he wanted to save his family and himself, he needed to get in the car.

The agent told his mother he would be giving the men a ride to the gas station, and he left in his vehicle, the documents said.

On their way to the gas station, the men pulled out a machete and gun and told the agent he was going to do whatever they wanted him to do, court documents said.

A spokesperson with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office said the gun was later determined to be a pellet gun. Court documents, however, described the gun as a silver .44 Magnum revolver.

The victim told authorities that once they arrived in Dona Ana County, he fought with the man who had the gun, but while he was doing so, the other man began to strike him with the machete, court documents said.

The agent was able to get away, and he ran to a nearby home and asked for help.

The victim suffered internal brain bleeding, a fractured skull and several cuts to his forearms, the document said.

In addition, two fingers on his right hand were partially amputated, the documents said.

He was taken to University Medical Center in El Paso, where he remains in critical condition, authorities said.

Earlier that night, around 9 p.m., detectives were dispatched to the 100 block of Ampara Road, in Chaparral, in reference to an unrelated domestic dispute.

When deputies arrived, they were told Vanegas-Quinonez was at the house, demanding to see his ex-girlfriend, authorities said.

The woman’s sister told deputies the man threatened her with what appeared to be a handgun, and he left in the same vehicle that the deputies found on the side of the road where the victim’s mother’s tamale stand was located, authorities said.

On Tuesday, Vanegas-Quinonez was arrested on an outstanding warrant for aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and aggravated assault. He was booked into the El Paso County jail and is awaiting extradition to Dona Ana County.

On Thursday, Puga was arrested by Dona Ana County sheriff’s detectives with the help of FBI agents. He is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder. He is being held in the Dona Ana County jail with bail set at $1 million.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off