The Utah man who drove into people and cars near the U.S.-Mexico border crossing last week will be imprisoned in Mexico for several months while the incident is under investigation, a judge decided at a hearing Monday.
Frank Stricker, 29, has been in the custody of Mexican law enforcement since May 13, the day he was arrested after a violent incident in the northbound lanes just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Stricker's black Chevrolet Silverado crashed into five pedestrians, a dozen vendor booths and 17 cars, according to Mexican law enforcement officers.
Mario Martinez, Tijuana's police director, said Stricker got into an altercation with a pedestrian and allegedly threatened a person with a razor on Avenida Manuel Márquez de León in the Zona Ríos.
When police approached Stricker, he allegedly fled in his pick-up truck toward the border crossing.
Stricker's girlfriend, Summer Barber, was in the passenger seat and described the frightening moments before she was struck in the head with a rock and then dragged out of the truck.
She said it started with a wrong turn and a man who took the wheel of the truck to help them find their way back to Tijuana.
Instead, the truck came to a stop in front of a police officer, she said.
"The cop tells Frankie and me to get out of the car. I heard a gunshot," she recalled last week. "Frankie takes off right after I heard it and I ask him, "What the hell are you doing?"He goes, "If we stop this car we’re gonna die."
Stricker, a U.S. citizen from Utah, was charged with attempted homicide and damage of property.
Prosecutors told Telemundo 20 that after Monday's court hearing, it was decided Stricker would remain in preventative prison during the investigation which was expected to take three months.
Agustín Bautista Rosalía, who was working as a vendor at the time of the incident, said he fears authorities grant Stricker his freedom after he pays for all of the damage he caused.
"I want him to pay for his crimes with jail," Rosalia said. "I don't like that they will just let him pay for the damages and let him free."