SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An American man arrested earlier this week in Mexico after running over several people with a truck in a chaotic chase to a U.S. border crossing in San Diego has been identified as a Utah man with an extensive criminal record.
Frank Eddie Stricker, 29, of Magna, Utah, is the suspect in the incident, according to his girlfriend Summer Draper, who told ABC10 TV station in San Diego that the couple was fleeing an attack and couldn’t stop.
A suspect identified only as 29-year-old Frank N. from Utah faces attempted murder and property damage charges, according to the Attorney General’s Office of Justice of Baja California in Mexico.
He threatened a person with a knife on a Tijuana boulevard about 1 mile (over 1 kilometer) from the crossing, and then fled in a pickup truck when officers intervened, Tijuana police said in a statement. During the chase, he hit five people, 14 vendor stalls and 17 other vehicles. Nobody died.
The truck finally stopped a short distance from the U.S. border where bystanders dragged Stricker and from the vehicle and beat him while others pounded on the truck with rods and rocks. Police stopped the beating, but video from the melee showed both people from the truck bloodied and dazed.
Draper had a large gash on her forehead that had been stitched up while she spoke to ABC10 from a hospital bed in San Diego.
She said she and Stricker were on vacation and wanted to visit shops in Tijuana when they got lost and asked for help. That eventually led to an attack and the decision to try and squeeze through a spot in the border line reserved for vendors.
“If we would have stopped the car, we would have been dead. We had to run from these people. They were attacking us,” Draper said.
Stricker has pleaded guilty to numerous criminal charges over the last decade, including theft, shoplifting, obstructing justice, robbery and forgery. The incidents including stealing shoes from a department store, items from Walmart and being caught with a stolen car.
Stricker is on probation in Utah after he pleaded guilty last year to trying to sell a stolen trailer and for failure to stop at an officer’s command. He was previously in a Utah state prison from 2009 to 2013.