The man accused of running over a Dallas, Texas, police officer Monday night is in the United States illegally and had been deported three times, immigration authorities say.
Eduardo Gonzalez-Rios, a 29-year-old Mexican national, had no prior criminal history in Dallas County, according to the Dallas Morning News, before a Monday night encounter with Senior Corporal Ed Lujan, who was working an off-duty job in uniform when Gonzalez-Rios ran over him twice outside the Kalua Discotheque.
Police say Lujan, who is in stable condition, suffered numerous broken bones and cuts on his scalp. The attack by Gonzalez-Rios prompted Sgt. Shannon Browning and Senior Corporal Antonio Barrientos to fire at Gonzalez-Rios.
The Mexican man was shot in the arm, treated and released from the hospital Tuesday. He has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and is being detained on an immigration hold in the Dallas County jail.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok says Gonzalez-Rios had been deported numerous times.
According to the local TV station WFAA, he was first caught in the U.S. illegally in 2004 near Harlingen, Texas, and was deported the same day. He tried again in May 2005, but was caught once more and returned the same day.
In September 2011, he made it to Kansas City, Missouri, and was deported a third time.
"I think this is an example of why we are so concerned about securing the border," Dallas County Republican Party chairman Wade Emmert told WFAA.
Police say that Gonzalez-Rios was asked to leave the night club where Lujan was working and escorted out by employees.
Possibly worried about getting deported yet again, he climbed into his SUV and drove it onto a curb, running over Lujan, according to the police account. Witnesses said he then backed over the officer.
The Greater Dallas National Latino Law Enforcement Organization said Lujan was “in good spirits” on Tuesday. He is being treated for a broken nose a dislocated hip as well as a fractured vertebra and skull, the group said.
It has established a fund to help with the officer’s medical expenses.
"It's unfortunate that this had to happen to the detective," Emmert said. "It's also unfortunate that the system is so broken that it allows one to continue to come through our porous borders, and there are really no ramifications."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.