Mexican authorities have identified a Utah man as the driver who allegedly plowed his truck into a crowd of people near a border checkpoint, injuring three as he tried to evade police during a chaotic pursuit Monday.
Officers began chasing Frank Eddie Stricker, 29, shortly after 2 p.m., according to a report written in Spanish from Tijuana law enforcement. They had received calls of a man threatening a resident with a knife on Manuel Márquez de León Avenue.
When they approached Stricker, the release states, he jumped into a Chevrolet Silverado with Utah license plates and took off toward the United States. He drove erratically toward the checkpoint, officers say, weaving through the left lanes, hitting 17 cars and mowing down 14 street vending carts.
Three people were injured, as well as Stricker and a Salt Lake City woman sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, which appears to have been rented.
Police arrested Stricker, who was taken to a hospital before he was handed over to the public ministry. He faces charges of aggravated injuries and possibly attempted murder, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Stricker, whose address is mostly recently listed in Herriman though he has also previously lived in Magna, has a lengthy criminal history in Utah. Most recently, in July 2018, he pleaded guilty to receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanor. In a dozen cases stretching over the past decade, he has also been convicted of several counts of failing to respond to an officer, possession of a controlled substance and shoplifting.
In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and aggravated robbery. He has been in and out of jail several times.
Additionally, Stricker was prosecuted for drug possession and trafficking in Nevada in 2017, according to the Elko Daily Press, after he was pulled over for speeding.
The Utah woman he was driving with Monday in Mexico spoke to ABC 10 News in San Diego. Summer Draper told reporters at the station that she and Stricker were fleeing from an attacker when they crashed their truck.
“If we would have stopped the car we would have been dead,” she said. “We had to run from these people. They were attacking us.”
Authorities have said they dispute her account.