An 18-year-old Holly Hill man faces a felony charge after police say he shouted racial slurs and threatened an interracial couple while holding a dangerous weapon, an incident that was captured on video.
Witness Jean Jenner, the vice chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party, told News 13 on Tuesday that the incident happened Friday, Nov. 11, on Nova Road near the intersection of LPGA Boulevard.
According to Jenner’s video and a Holly Hill Police Department’s report, Travis Thompson was riding in his girlfriend’s silver Chevrolet pickup truck — which at the time was flying a large Confederate flag from the bed — when they forced a Volkswagen Jetta that had an interracial couple in it to a stop.
The report said a shirtless, shoeless Thompson got out of the truck armed with a large wrench and approached the couple’s vehicle while screaming racial epithets at both the man, who is black, and woman, who is white.
That is when Jenner recorded the incident on his smartphone. Jenner shared the video with News 13.
“Because of my position with the Democratic Party, I was aware of a reported increase of such incidents since the election, but actually witnessing this was surreal,” Jenner said in an email interview.
Jenner added that his passenger-side window was closed, and he could not hear what Thompson allegedly said. But according to the police report, the couple in the Jetta told police that Thompson shouted racial slurs at them.
On a separate incident on the same day, Thompson is accused of approaching a vehicle with black persons while waving a baseball bat on International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach.
A witness, Darleen DuRante, video recorded that exchange between Thompson and the people in the second incident, according to the police report. DuRante shared the video with News 13.
The following day, Thompson contacted Daytona Beach Police and said he was receiving threats on social media because of Jenner’s and DuRante’s videos, which were posted on Facebook.
Jenner said that Thompson contacted him the next day and asked him to take down the Facebook post. When Jenner refused, he said Thompson became angry.
“When he became aggressive, I hanged up on him. He called four times, each time a little more upset. He threatened to ‘file criminal charges’ against me,” Jenner said, adding, “… (He) threatened a lawsuit to which I responded that none of those threats would make me take down the post.”
Holly Hill Police said that on Nov. 14, they interviewed both Thompson and his girlfriend, Victoria Wilcox. According to Thompson, a black man in the Jetta threatened them with a handgun and made disparaging remarks about the Confederate flag and the campaign bumper stickers in support of Donald Trump.
According to the arresting report, Thompson admitted he had a wrench in his hand during that confrontation.
The arrest report recounts a third incident in which Thompson and Wilcox were involved.
On Monday, Nov. 21, at a Walmart on North Nova Road, the two claimed that they got into an argument with a black man over a parking space. According to Thompson, the man pointed to his waistband and implied he was armed. Thompson went to get a baseball bat from his girlfriend’s truck, but the matter ended without incident, according to the arrest report.
After speaking with the people in the Jetta from the first incident, investigators charged Thompson with improper exhibit of a dangerous weapon (the socket wrench), which was upgraded to a felony because he shouted threatening racial slurs. Thompson’s bond was set at $20,000.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones; From News 13)