Holly Hill, FL – Police in Holly Hill arrested an 18-year-old man on Monday for confronting 2 motorists with a large socket wrench and shouting racial slurs.
According to the police report, a witness called police around 2:51 PM on November 11 and said he had witnessed and recorded on his cell phone an incident involving a white man, later identified as Travis Thompson of Holly Hill, verbally and physically threatening a man and a woman as they were sitting in their vehicle on Nova Rd near LPGA Blvd.
Investigators later identified the victims as Nicholla Lindsey, a white woman, and Jormel Russell, an African-American man.
Lindsey, Russell, and the witness gave sworn statements describing the incident. Russell and Lindsey were aggressively pursued by a silver colored Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by and registered to Victoria Wilcox. The vehicle was distinctive because there was a large Confederate flag flying in the truck’s bed, and several Donald Trump campaign bumper stickers were on the rear window of the vehicle.
Lindsey and Russell were driving a VW Jetta and were forced to stop at the intersection of LPGA due to traffic. Wilcox stopped at the intersection, and Thompson got out of the truck with a large metal socket-type wrench. According to the police report, he approached the victims’ vehicle “in a highly aggressive manner, brandishing the weapon in his hand while screaming a highly prejudicial racial epithet.”
Investigators didn’t know at the time, but Thompson had been caught on video doing something similar that same day on ISB Blvd near the Speedway. In that incident, Thompson got out of Wilcox’s silver truck and aggressively approached a vehicle with several African-American people inside while threateningly waving a baseball bat.
Both videos of Thompson were posted to Facebook, and on November 12 Thompson filed a report with DBPD after he allegedly received threats.
Thompson told police that on the 11th an unknown black man made derogatory comments about the Confederate flag and Trump decals on his girlfriend Wilcox’s truck as they were heading north on Nova. According to Thompson, the confrontation began when someone in another vehicle threatened him with a gun. He told police he wouldn’t let anyone shoot his girlfriend and admitted to holding the socket wrench during the confrontation. Thompson gave a similar description of the incident near the Speedway.
When Thompson was confronted with video evidence that showed him being the aggressor, he was unable to respond. But he did say he cut his hair, painted Wilcox’s vehicle, and removed the Confederate flag and Trump decals to avoid further controversy. Wilcox also told advisors that a black man had threatened her with a handgun.
On Nov. 21 HHPD got another report of a white man waving a baseball bat at an African-American person near the Walmart at 1905 N Nova Rd. Investigators identified Thompson as the man with the baseball bat, and he told police that it started when he and Wilcox got into an argument with a black man about a disputed parking spot. Thompson said that during the argument the man pointed to his waistband and implied that he was armed. In response, Thompson armed himself with the baseball bat.
Police interviewed Lindsey and Russell on November 22, and both described an unprovoked race-based assault where neither of them made any threats of violence toward Thompson or Wilcox. Additionally, they told police that Thompson was making gang signs and claimed to be a member of the Crips street gang.
Police interviewed the witness who recorded the incident on Nova, Jean Jenner (Vice Chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party), on Nov. 23. Jenner corroborated the accounts of Lindsey and Russell, and added that after he posted the video to social media he was personally contacted by Thompson who demanded that the video be removed, claiming Wilcox had been threatened with a handgun.
Thompson was arrested on a charge of improper exhibition of a firearm/dangerous weapon – a charge which was upgraded to a felony due to the racial slurs he was recorded shouting. His bond has been set at $20,000.
Police say Thompson is a person of interest in those 2 other similar incidents and investigators are trying to find the victims in those cases. Anyone with info should call HHPD at 386-248-9475.
To see Jenner’s video of the incident, click here.
Copyright Southern Stone Communication 2016.