A man driving a pickup truck struck four people and 17 vehicles at a border crossing in Tijuana, Baja California, yesterday as he attempted to flee from police.
A man identified as Frank E. was arrested by municipal police at the San Ysidro port of entry to the United States after his high-speed dash for the border.
Four street vendors were struck and taken to hospital. Two are reported to have serious injuries.
According to the newspaper El Imparcial, the incident occurred at around 2:00pm yesterday after police received a report of an altercation between the driver of the vehicle and a pedestrian in the Zona Río district of the northern border city.
Tijuana police said last night that the U.S. man had threatened a person with a knife on Manuel Márquez de León avenue.
When officers arrived at the scene, the Utah-licensed Chevrolet Silverado in which a female passenger was also traveling made a beeline for the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, California, precipitating a police chase. One police officer was struck as the vehicle made its escape.
At the port of entry, the pickup truck hit 14 vendors’ stalls in addition to the vehicles and hawkers. One vendor said it appeared that the man had struck everything in his path “on purpose.”
A motorist who was waiting in his car to cross into the United States described his experience to El Imparcial.
“We were here in line and out of the blue we started hearing screams [then] a pickup truck hit us from behind. It was a gringo with a young woman, the woman’s face was covered with blood,” Alejandro Contreras said.
Just meters short of the border security booths, the pickup came to a halt. The front of the vehicle was badly damaged and its tires were flat, reportedly because they had been punctured by vendors, 20 of whom allegedly removed the driver from the truck, beat him and held him until police arrived.
Tijuana police chief Mario Martínez said late yesterday that only the driver was taken into custody. The identity of his female companion, who is also reportedly a U.S. citizen, is unknown.
No significant delays at the border crossing were reported as a result of the incident.
Source: El Imparcial (sp)