Driver menaces family crossing the Shands Bridge

A 24-year-old resident charged with three-counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage, remains in custody in the St Johns County Detention Facility in lieu of bonds totaling $6,000.

The defendant, William Larry Bennett, who resides at 6588 Collier Road, was driving his 2003 Dodge pickup truck across the Shands Bridge at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, following a 2010 Toyota Highlander.

According to the Bennett’s statement to deputies, the victims were driving too slowly, so he began to tailgate the Highlander. Bennett allegedly struck the victim’s vehicle three times, causing minor damage, as well as honked his horn, flashed his lights, made hand gestures, and yelled at the victims.

The operator of the Highlander, a 16-year-old newly licensed driver, said she was in fear of being pushed off the bridge, along with her mother and 14-year-old brother who were also occupants of the vehicle.

The investigative report states that Bennett continued to follow and badger the victims even after passing his residence. The victims pulled off the road at the first chance they had to await responding deputies.

Meanwhile, a witness, who was behind the two vehicles, continued to follow Bennett as the two entered the Heritage Landing neighborhood. Bennett stopped in the middle of the road and walked back to confront the witness. The woman began dialing 9-1-1 and Bennett returned to his vehicle, turned around, and erratically drove back to his residence.

Deputies located Bennett and his slightly damaged vehicle, at his residence where he was taken into custody without incident.

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