Bodycam video shows bloodied Nikki Alcaraz begging police to arrest her boyfriend before she vanished

Family of Tennessee woman say their three-week ordeal could have been avoided if she and boyfriend Tyler Stratton were taken into custody

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 01 June 2023 20:20 BST
Bodycam footage shows alleged domestic violence incident involving Nikki Alcaraz

Newly-released bodycam footage shows bloodied Tennessee mother Nikki Alcaraz begging New Mexico police to arrest her boyfriend before she was reported missing.

Ms Alcaraz, 33, disappeared during a roadtrip from Nashville to Orange County, California, with her boyfriend Tyler Stratton.

The couple were located safe in Eureka, in northern California, on Tuesday after authorities were tipped off a local resident.

On 4 May, they were pulled over in Torrance County, New Mexico, after a truck driver reported seeing Mr Stratton hitting his girlfriend.

Bodycam footage released to The Independent by the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office shows Ms Alcaraz, with a swollen eye and bruising to her arm, telling officers that the pair had been drinking shots of Fireball whiskey before a violent fight broke out in her black Jeep Wrangler.

“He laid his hands on me and I want him in jail for it,” she can be heard saying.

The trucker who contacted police tells officers that he saw Mr Stratton “slap her and punch her in the face” as she was lying on the ground.

Nikki Alcaraz and a truck driver talk to Torrance County deputies on 4 May after her boyfriend Tyler Stratton was seen punching her

Ms Alcaraz could also be heard screaming in a 911 call, according to an incident report provided to The Independent by the sheriff’s office.

Officers can later be seen speaking to Mr Stratton, who is bleeding from the nose and mouth with his arms zip tied behind his back.

Mr Stratton says that his girlfriend had been the aggressor, striking him for no reason while he was driving.

Tyler Stratton speaks to officers in Torrance County, New Mexico, as he and girlfriend Nikki Alcaraz were pulled over for a domestic assault

“I’m not trying to blame anything on her... but she ended up having too much to drink,” he said, claiming that he had been “begging her to stop” hitting him.

“I’ve never seen Nikki like this before.”

The couple both appeared to be intoxicated, the incident report stated.

Nikki Alcaraz talks to law enforcement on 4 May, prior to being reported missing by her family

The officers then let the couple go, after instructing Mr Stratton not to contact Ms Alcaraz for 24 hours or he would face arrest.

Ms Alcaraz was reported missing on 9 May by family who were unable to contact her.

The case then attracted nationwide attention after drawing comparisons to the Gabby Petito case.

In 2021, Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were pulled over in Moab, Utah, after police received reports of a domestic assault.

The officers failed to press charges against Laundrie after he claimed he had also been hit, and he went on to murder the 22-year-old Vlogger and dump her remains in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

After a national appeal, the couple were located in Eureka, California, on Tuesday.

Mr Stratton has been arrested on an unrelated theft warrant.

In an interview with NewsNation on Tuesday, Ms Alcaraz’s friend Amanda Sanders said the missing person ordeal could have been avoided if the Torrance County deputies had arrested the couple.

“I just felt more angry wondering why they weren’t at least arrested for public intoxication or something,”  Ms Sanders said.

Tyler Stratton has been arrested in California, after his girlfriend Nikki Alcaraz was reported missing on a cross country roadtrip

Ms Alcaraz left her home in Tennessee with Mr Stratton to visit family in Orange County, California, earlier this month.

When authorities and her family first put out appeals for information on her whereabouts, Ms Alcaraz was thought to have been last seen in the New Mexico town of Moriarty on 6 May.

Authorities later released photos showing Ms Alcaraz with a black eye, cuts on her face and severe bruising on her arms after the alleged assault.

“He beat her up pretty badly,” her brother Josh Alcaraz told Fox5.

Ms Alcaraz was taken to a Super 8 motel in Moriarty, New Mexico, and then vanished two days later.

On Tuesday, Josh Alcaraz told NewsNation the family was relieved she had been found safe.

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