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Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Uses Bowling Ball to Rescue Driver from Burning Car

A Border Patrol agent rescued a driver from this burning car. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

An off-duty Border Patrol agent saved a man from a burning car in metro Detroit using a bowling ball, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday.

Agent John Leslie was driving on a highway in Farmington Hills when he spotted a car on fire along the side of the road on July 31. Leslie, a trained EMT, rushed to the scene and discovered that the driver was trapped inside the vehicle as flames quickly spread.

With the passenger-side door destroyed in the crash, the agent crawled into the car and opened the rear door, but was unable to pull the driver through the back seat because of the damage.

Finding a bowling ball in the rear seat as the flames intensified, Leslie smashed the driver’s window and pried open the door to free the driver before a small explosion engulfed the car.

“If it weren’t for the bowling ball, I’m not sure how I would have gotten the window smashed to get the guy out,” Leslie said in a statement. “That ball saved his life.”

The agent treated the driver until emergency rescue officials arrived.

“Everyday across America our Border Patrol agents, without regard for their own safety, risk their lives to save others,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Robert B. Simon said. “I could not be more proud of John and how quickly he jumped in to save this mans life. If he did not react so quickly the outcome would have been very different.”

Leslie was the latest off-duty Border Patrol agent to jump to action during an emergency.

Last weekend, an off-duty agent from the El Centro Sector helped thwart a carjacking in what the agency called a “heroic act.”

Another off-duty agent stopped a man slashing a knife at bystanders in San Diego earlier this month.


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