SAHUARITA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An off-duty Border Patrol agent was cited for a hit-and-run collision after he drove away from a crash scene, allegedly trying to hide an affair with another man.
According to a Sahuarita Police Department report, 30-year-old Ellis McKenzie-Morales was arrested, cited, and released by officers for his involvement in a crash March 1. Two cars collided at the intersection of Duval Mine Road and Alpha Avenue in Sahuarita around 3:20 p.m.
The victim told officers that she was rear ended by the suspect's vehicle, later identified as McKenzie-Morales. She pulled over, the suspect followed her, and she spoke with him and his unidentified passenger, the report said.
"The driver provided a name to her, but, she could not remember the name," the report said. "She asked the driver for his insurance information, and his driver's license. He said he had USAA Insurance, but, did not provide her with any proof of insurance, or a driver's license."
The victim told police that the driver said he was a former US Border Patrol Agent. Shortly after the encounter, the two men got into the car.
McKenzie-Morales allegedly covered the license plate and drove away, but not before a witness to the crash caught the car, driver, and passenger on camera and submitted the photos to Sahuarita officers.
Sahuarita PD put out a public post on Facebook saying they were looking for the light blue or grey Ford Fusion sedan and its occupants on March 15.
Multiple anonymous tips led officers to McKenzie-Morales' home and found the Ford Fusion parked in the driveway.
When officers first approached McKenzie-Morales and asked twice about the March 1 crash, he denied being involved but said his vehicle was backed into, "when he was in San Diego, and that he hit his ex-wife's garage door several nights ago," the police report stated.
After being shown photographs of the vehicle, and the two suspects inside - one of which who "looked like him" - McKenzie-Morales eventually admitted to being involved in the March 1 collision.
McKenzie-Morales said he attempted to give the victim his insurance information at the time of the crash, according to police, but his "buddy" urged him to leave. "He said that he panicked and left, and that it was a stupid idea," according to the report.
McKenzie-Morales told police he does not know the name of the male passenger who was in the car at the time of the crash and he did not have any contact information for him.
"He had just met the male passenger from a hook up site on the Internet," the report stated. McKenzie-Morales allegedly explained to officers that he was not initially truthful about the incident because of the male passenger, "and the fact that his husband did not know about him."
McKenzie-Morales said he did not report in the incident to police because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that he forgot about it.
He was cited for two misdemeanor violations, including Accidents Involving Damage to Vehicle and Failure to Control Speed to Avoid an Accident.
When asked for comment from his employer, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Public Information Office told Tucson News Now, "While the incident occurred when the agent was off-duty, all CBP employees are held to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, character, and professionalism on or off-duty. Sahuarita Police Department is the lead investigating agency and any further questions regarding the incident should be referred to them. Tucson Sector will fully cooperate with the investigation."
The Public Information Office did not respond to questions asking if McKenzie-Morales was facing any disciplinary action, nor did they respond when asked if McKenzie-Morales reported the citation through the proper channels at the Border Patrol. The Sahuarita Police Department report said that McKenzie-Morales was responsible for reporting his contact with law enforcement to his employer.
According to the report, the victim was asked, at the time of the crash, if she would like to be transported to the hospital but she declined. Officers followed up with her March 16 and learned that she went to the emergency room the day after the accident. She was given an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer for pain in her back, the police report stated.