Few undocumented immigrants shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents survive, and in even fewer cases is an agent found to have used excessive force.
Those odds didn’t stop one of the survivors, Jesus Castro Romo, from suing the federal government after he was shot by an agent during a routine stop in Arizona.
In 2012, inewsource interviewed Castro as part of its Deadly Patrols series, an investigation of agent-involved deaths along the border. Castro was living in Nogalas, Mexico, with his wife and youngest son when he began his battle against the Border Patrol.
He told inewsource people “call me the soap opera guy,” because his injuries left him with few choices but to watch TV in bed. Castro suffers from unstable ligaments in his spine, along with remaining bone and shrapnel fragments. A doctor testified in the case that these injuries make Castro’s constant pain worse when he walks, “exerts himself” or even stays in one position for a long time.
Last week, U.S. District Judge James Soto in Tucson, Arizona, awarded Castro almost $500,000 in damages for his medical expenses and lost wages. The judge first set the damages at about $553,000, but he reduced them after concluding Castro was 10 percent responsible because he was crossing into the United States illegally.
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