Rescue Workers Save Man Stuck in Border Fence

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BROWNSVILLE – Brownsville emergency crews were forced to pry apart bars on the border fence as they worked to save a man who attempted to cross into the U.S. illegally.

Crews are called to incidents along the border fence at least twice a month. In this case, they used the Jaws of Life since the man's leg got trapped between the fences. 

The scene unfolded Monday night near the Sabal Palm sanctuary on the outskirts of Brownsville, better known for its scenic trails and wildlife.

"Our crews responded to an assistance call from the U.S. Border Patrol. They apparently had an individual stuck on the border fence or had his leg entrapped in the border wall," said Brownsville Fire Interim Chief Deputy Cesar Pedraza.

The man was approximately 18 to 20 feet off the ground, Pedraza said. As his leg became more swollen, it was clear it wouldn't be a matter of just pulling it out.

"If you can imagine prying two pieces of metal apart, that's what they did," Pedraza said. "The border wall is obviously very thick. It's a fortified fence and that's why we needed the hydraulic tools. The other option would be to cut completely through the fence."

Fire crews were able to get the man down safely and took him to a hospital.

Residents living close to Sabal Palms tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS they aren't surprised. Amy Granado said seeing people cross into the U.S. illegally in the area has become a way of life.

"This ditch that we have right here, they'll sometimes lay there low. Then you'll see them cross over, maybe like four or five people at a time," Granado said, "usually males, I don't really see children or females.”

Granado said she had a close call with a person in the country illegally on her property.

"I noticed a gentleman in our back porch trying to open the doors to see if it was open," she said.

She's never really been scared of the people crossing near her home, Granado said, but feels safer with the increased presence of Border Patrol agents and Department of Public Safety troopers in the area.

No one else was found with the man stuck on the fence.

A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that in any case, the person's well-being always comes first before being processed.

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