'I know I messed up' says man accused of threatening motorists, yelling racial slurs
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A teenager is being held on $20,000 bond after allegedly using a wrench as a deadly weapon. Travis Thompson, 18, threatened motorists and yelled racial slurs, according to police.
In a courtroom on Tuesday, before a judge, Thompson cried, said he messed up and he just wanted to go home.
“I want to speak up," said Thompson. "I want to speak up to the judge.”
Thompson wouldn’t take no for an answer during his first appearance in court, speaking out against his attorney’s advice.
“I know I messed up, everybody messes up. It’s my first offense. I just want to be there with my family that need me, and I got a job at Race Pro, and now I’m probably going to lose it.”
Witness Jean Jenner started recording video after he saw Thompson in the passenger side of a silver truck.
“Driving a truck with large Confederate flag and Trump bumper sticker on it, driving erratically between lanes, speeding, slowing down," explained Jenner. "I saw him charging with a wrench in his hand toward the vehicle. The door opened up, a black gentleman came out looked at me. I could not believe what he was saying and its sad.”
The video, which was posted on Facebook, landed in the hands of the police and is now being used as evidence.
“It’s not acceptable, and I’m glad we were able to follow up further and make an arrest. He was screaming and making a lot of racial comments towards them," said Chief Stephen Aldrich of the Holly Hill Police Department. "That’s why we were able to enhance the charges to a felony level.”
“I’m glad, and I hope this serves as a lesson that this is America, and we will not tolerate that,” said a relieved Jenner.
Thompson’s grandmother told the judge that her grandson needs help. She said he had several problems and was off of medication for bipolar disorder.
Thompson told the judge, “Jail’s not the place for me. I need a place, I need to be with my family, I need to get my medicine.”
Thompson’s father and grandmother did not want to comment. The police chief said there is another video out there in a separate incident that is similar to this one, but the victims have not come forward.