San Diego

Chollas View Hit-and-Run Assault Was Captured by Security Cameras: DA

The victim's wife said her husband was just trying to save a little girl from a lashing and ended up being run over by an SUV

New evidence against a woman accused in a violent road rage hit-and-run in Chollas View emerged in court Friday.

Tantrina Spencer-Simmons, 24, pleaded not guilty to felony charges and her bail was set at $1 million.

A San Diego County prosecutor said Spencer-Simmons was beating her younger sister with a belt outside of the apartment where her younger sister lives when witness James Shank, 50, tried to intervene.

Shank tried to get Spencer-Simmons to stop and called police. That's when, according to prosecutors, Spencer-Simmons ran Shank over multiple times on purpose with her SUV.

"This wasn't a small person that she hit or a small animal in the street," Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said. "It was obvious she hit him. She didn't stop, accelerated 60 feet as his body was being dragged underneath the car."

Erickson said the entire assault was captured by surveillance cameras at a nearby MTS trolley station. Erickson that video evidence will be key in the prosecution against Spencer-Simmons.

Shank remains in the hospital and is fighting for his life. He has road rash injuries to more than 50 percent of his body. He also suffered brain and heart injuries and broken bones. His wife told NBC 7 he will likely have one of his arms amputated.

The judge called Spencer-Simmons an extreme danger to the community. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 11.

A GoFundMe page was started to raise funds for Shank's recovery.

NBC 7 has learned that Spencer-Simmons is one of nine children and took on the role of raising her younger sister.

Court documents show her grandfather filed a temporary restraining order against her for elder abuse in 2017. Her grandfather also accused her of stabbing him in 2015.

Friend of the family Janet Stephens said she helped raise Spencer-Simmons, and said that despite occasional fits of anger Spencer-Simmons has a good heart. According to Stephens, Spencer-Simmons even created a nonprofit organization aimed at helping the homeless.

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