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SALT LAKE CITY — Mexican police have confirmed that a Utah man allegedly ran over three people and hit seven vehicles as he tried to evade officers in Tijuana near the border on Monday.
The incident began after Frank Eddie Stricker, 29, of Magna, got into a "verbal fight" with someone on a road, according to a Baja California State Police report translated into English.
When police intervened, they said Stricker didn't comply with their instructions and then escaped into a Costco parking lot, the report states.
He then headed onto an avenue near the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, driving between vehicles, hitting seven of them and running over three people, police said.
Additional information about the victims' injuries were not immediately available.
Stricker and his passenger were also injured, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, and Stricker was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment.
The justice officials in Baja California, Mexico, said Stricker might be charged with attempted murder, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Court records show Stricker has an extensive criminal history in Utah.
In July 2018, he pleaded guilty to failing to stop or respond at the command of police after fleeing from an officer who pulled him over for using his cellphone while driving. A short time later that day, the officer found that Stricker's vehicle had gotten into a rollover crash, according to the charges.
Stricker then ran away from the crash, police said, and when later arrested told officers he had jumped over a fence, fell 15 feet and hurt his back during the attempted escape.
In 2016, Stricker pleaded guilty to theft by receiving stolen property after police found him in possession of a vehicle stolen from Murdock Hyundai, according to court documents.
He has also pleaded guilty in previous years to multiple instances of shoplifting, as well as obstructing justice, aggravated robbery and possession of a forgery device, court records show.
A friend of Stricker, Andrew Walker, told KSL the incident in Mexico has been misunderstood. A woman who was in Mexico with Stricker said he was protecting her from a crime before the police chase occurred, according to Walker.
"Everyone's making him out to look like a bad guy. He's not a bad guy," Walker said. "To just run through a crowd like that, there had to be someone chasing him."
Contributing: Andrew Adams