In a role reversal, President Bush came to the rescue of a Secret Service agent Saturday night, extricating him from a melee after Chilean police blocked the president's security detail from entering a banquet hall.

The agent was keeping his customary few strides' distance behind the president as they headed into a cultural center for the closing dinner of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. As the president and first lady Laura Bush walked into the hall, Chilean officers stepped in front of the agent.

Pushing, shoving and shouting erupted.

Bush and the first lady had gone inside the hall to pose for photos with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his wife, Luisa Duran. Having either heard the commotion or realizing something was amiss, Bush then broke away.

He returned to the entrance of the hall and reached over a crowd of people, pointing at his agent. Bush then braced himself against someone and grabbed the agent, who walked through the wall of people who had been blocking his way.

Bush adjusted his right cuff link in one swift motion, as if shaking the dust off, and headed into dinner.

-- Mike Allen

President Bush, center left, reaches to assist one of his Secret Service agents who had been blocked from the site of the APEC summit dinner.