A driver in Southern California was arrested for allegedly trying to run down a group of teens moments after getting into a physical confrontation with them outside his San Bernardino County home Tuesday, authorities said.
Frank Puga was taken into custody in the 7000 block of Tippecanoe Avenue (map), where he is accused of intentionally trying to crash his SUV into the group about 3 p.m.
However, the man's sister said it was her mother who was behind the wheel of the SUV at the time.
"My brother was not the one driving the car," said the man’s sister, adding that she notified investigators, but "they did not care because there were witnesses, that weren’t even there."
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies said Puga was turning into his driveway and got into a confrontation with the teens, who accused him of cutting them off while they were walking. Puga then allegedly got back into his silver SUV and drove down the street trying to run over the teens.
"He...tried to hit me because I was writing a license plate number, but I didn't even get to write it down because he swooped back and everybody hopped back on the wall," said one alleged victim.
The teens suffered minor injuries, described as bumps and bruises. Two of the victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance and a third was treated at the scene.
Puga, who had been holding a cold pack to his face, denied any wrongdoing to NBC4 as he was taken into custody.
"I wasn't even there, they're the ones that beat me up," Puga said.
Asked why he was being arrested, he said, "Because they think I did it."
"You’re ruining someone’s life. It’s not just something you walk away from. You’re ruining their whole future," said Puga’s sister.
Puga was being booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.