New video obtained by NBC 7 shows the moments a crowd swarmed a truck that had just been in several collisions Monday just south of the port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico.
The group threw objects at the truck, smashed out its windshied and side windows, and eventually dragged the driver, 29-year-old Frank Stricker, and his girlfriend, Summer Barber, both U.S. Citizens, to the floor and beat them before police took them into custody.
The incident happened in the middle of northbound traffic lanes that cross through the San Ysidro Port of Entry into the U.S. Toni Cruz was in a car waiting his turn to cross and recorded the mob through the back window.
Mexican law enforcement officials said that Stricker was invovled in an altercation with a pedestrian before he sped his black Chevrolet Silverado between rows of cars stalled in cross-border traffic. He hit 17 cars, toppled a dozen street vendor carts, and ran over five people, according to police.
But Barber told Telemundo 20 a story that contradicted law enforcement's version about what happened.
She says she and her boyfriend had just arrived to Tijuana when they got onto the wrong road, one that would lead them out of the city.
The pair asked a stranger for help getting further into Tijuana. According to Barber, the man offered to drive their truck to where they wanted to go.
At some point while the man was driving the truck, they realized they were going in a direction they didn't want to go, Barber said. They demanded the man pull over and that's when several people, including a cop, started to swarm their truck.
"The cop tells Frankie and me to get out of the car. I heard a gunshot," she described. "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.'"
That's when Stricker began to speed through lanes toward the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Barber said Stricker did not hit anyone and actually made every effort to avoid people as they fled.
"He’s telling everybody 'move, move,' he did not hit anyone, he was telling everyone to move," she said.
Stricker, a U.S. citizen from Utah, is being held in Mexico and was charged Wednesday with attempted homicide and damage of property.
Mario Martinez, Tijuana's police director, also said the confrontation started when Stricker got into an altercation with a pedestrian, but added that Stricker allegedly threatened a person with a razor on Avenida Manuel Márquez de León in the Zona Ríos.
When police approached him, he allegedly fled in his truck toward the border crossing.
Fresno resident Lori Ray said she witnessed what Toni Cruz posted on YouTube.
"Locals, mostly vendors, people that were out on the streets, they had sticks and bats and all kinds of things, just waving them," she said. "They just beat the car, grabbed the people out of the car on to the ground."
She said the people with sticks and bats were beating Barber and Stricker.
Municipal police arrested Stricker and he was turned over to federal investigators.
According to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department in Utah, Stricker has been arrested several times on charges of theft, possession of drugs and for violating his probation.
Barber said she has not been able to contact Stricker since he was detained. She has also not been able to communicate with the Tijuana authorities, she said.