On the night of October 3, 2020, Bottineau Station Resident Border Patrol Agent (BPA) Robert Holmes assisted law enforcement with a 911 call regarding a suicidal individual. The individual was threatening to jump from the top of a 144-foot-tall grain elevator.
Upon arrival, the law enforcement officers on scene expressed a significant fear of heights. BPA Holmes volunteered to ride the elevator up the structure without backup to search for the individual. BPA Holmes acted beyond the call of duty and at great personal risk; he was neither trained nor equipped for this type of encounter.
Upon reaching the top of the grain elevator, BPA Holmes began searching the massive area riddled with shafts, pipes, and other industrial hazards. After an extensive search in the darkness, he was able to locate the 20-year-old suicidal male near the edge of the grain elevator. BPA Holmes immediately noticed a knife in the subject's hand.
After approximately 20 minutes of careful conversation, tactful persuasion, and incredible use of self-awareness, BPA Holmes ultimately talked the individual away from the edge of the structure, convinced him to disarm himself, and got him onto the service elevator lift.
BPA Holmes voluntarily placed himself in harm's way to save the life of this young man. Had an altercation occurred, BPA Holmes, having been the only officer present, would have faced overwhelming odds to ensure a positive outcome for the subject or himself. His quick thinking, calm demeanor, and compassion for this fellow man, peacefully resolved this life-threatening, extremely volatile situation and brought great honor to himself, the United States Border Patrol, and the Department of Homeland Security.