SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Ryan Hithersay, 38, sobbed in court before his first appearance in front of a judge, after the Florida Highway Patrol says he intentionally slammed his car into a trooper that was parked along Interstate 4 on Monday. The impact left significant damage to both vehicles.
“Your Honor, I was told I wouldn't be able to bond ouy. I'm kind of a little upset about that," Hithersay told the judge.
His court-appointed attorney told the judge his client suffers from mental illness and has no felony history and therefore should be entitled to a bond.
"I do understand he has some mental issues which may have impacted not only what he said but what he did," Hithersay’s public defender told the judge.
Hithersay tried to defend himself, but his attorney advised him otherwise. The judge ultimately left Hithersay at a no bond status siding with prosecutors that he is a danger to the community.
"I really don't know what happened, you know what he was thinking," said Joe Paprocki, director of the mens recovery facility where Hithersay lived.
Those at the Daytona beach recovery facility say they know a different side of the defendant.
“He's not a malicious man, he's not a violent man at all, and he's been here six years and I hope they take all of that into consideration,” Paprocki said.
Paprocki says Hithersay graduated from their program which helps men battling substance abuse and says he was showing signs of major improvement.
"I saw him yesterday, and he was fine, he came over on the porch and was talking with us for a while and he seemed fine he seemed like Ryan, so it was a total surprise,” Paprocki said.
Hithersay's next court appearance is on March 20.