KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former Border Patrol Agent In Attack On Migrant Gets Probation

A former Border Patrol agent who rammed a Guatemalan immigrant with his truck and then lied about it was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation.

The case against Matthew Bowen was detailed from the beginning. Prosecutors found he had boasted in text messages that he’d run into a "tonk," a Border Patrol agent slur for immigrants.

Wednesday, he apologized for what he characterized as bumping into the man.

The federal magistrate in Tucson rejected the recommended six months in prison and said three years of supervised release would make Bowen suffer because he wouldn’t be able to move past it. 

"The victim could have been seriously injured but he wasn’t. he skinned his knees and as a result, agent Bowen lost his job, his reputation and he’s gotta rebuild from here," said Sean Chapman, Bowen's attorney.

Chapman characterized Bowen’s act as a mistake. He said the racial slurs in his text messages came after two incidents in Van Horn, Texas, where two agents had died and after a fellow agent in Tucson had his arm gashed open during a rock attack on the border. 

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.