Cochise County deputy hurt while trying to stop smuggling suspect, sheriff says

A Cochise County deputy is in the hospital after trying to stop a smuggling suspect during a chase, officials said Thursday night.

The incident happened near Bisbee along State Route 80 near milepost 329. 

The deputy reportedly fell at least 15 feet while trying to deploy spikes in an effort to stop the suspect, according to Sheriff Mark Dannels.

"When the vehicle went over the spikes, the deputy pulled the spikes back, he slipped, went over a guard rail and fell 15 feet," said Dannels. "The other law enforcement put a tourniquet on him, did life-saving measures."

Officials say the deputy suffered multiple fractures and was flown to a trauma center in Tucson for treatment. He is expected to survive.

"I have met with the family of our injured deputy as we navigate resources and lodging during this emotional time," Sheriff Dannels said in a statement. "The family extends their sincere appreciation for all those who have extended prayers and best wishes to their family. The family has requested privacy while they focus on the healthy recovery of their loved one."

Amber Bernadette Fuaga, a 47-year-old Maricopa woman, was arrested. She was booked into jail and is accused of human smuggling and DUI.

Amber Fuaga

Amber Bernadette Fuaga (Cochise County Sheriffs Offce)

‘Enough is enough’

Sheriff Dannels says it's the third time in several days that people were put in harm's way by smugglers.

"Just this week alone, I've had a patrol car damaged, I've had two officers, deputies that were trying to be run over by smuggler drivers," he said. "This is every day down here."

Dannels says the federal government needs to find a way to fix the situation at the border because smuggling is getting worse.

"Enough is enough," he said. "We have to do a better job when it comes to securing our border, addressing the public safety issue and this threat on our communities."