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Special Agent Luke Golike, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas

2017 Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Recipient

On August 27, 2017, at 1:13 p.m., El Paso Station Customs Border Protection agents responded to two adult male subjects running north from the West Rail Road Bridge. In an attempt to evade arrest, both subjects jumped into the American Canal near the bridge. The running water quickly moved both subjects eastbound along the canal.

The agents reacted quickly by throwing rescue ropes into the canal near the two subjects, but neither of the two subjects was able to grab hold of the ropes. During this time, both subjects appeared to be struggling, and one of them became completely submerged under water.

The American Canal, where the rescue took place, is a concrete waterway with smooth sides. Once a person enters the canal, real danger exists that they may not be able to escape the water without assistance. Depending on the water flow, currents can range from a jogger’s pace to faster than a person can run. The canal is also equipped with concrete obstructions to disrupt the water flow and slow the current. These obstructions collect debris and present danger to anyone entering the water.

Aware of all these dangers, Border Patrol Agent Luke Golike went beyond the call of duty as he tied a rescue rope to his waist and jumped into the swift and dangerous water of the American Canal. While other agents held his rescue rope, Agent Golike swam out to the floundering subjects and successfully grabbed one of the subjects, holding him while the other agents pulled him out of the canal. Unfortunately, the second subject succumbed to the water currents and died.

Customs and Boarder Protection Agent Golike displayed great courage and decisiveness when he risked his life without hesitation by entering the water of the canal in an attempt to rescue the two subjects. His actions were directly responsible for saving the life of one of the subjects.

A presentation ceremony was held on October 24, 2019, by El Paso Mayor Dee Margo:

Special Agent Luke Golike