Rockledge man charged with hate crime after driving man off the road, police say

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — A man who police said tried to kill a driver more than a year ago in Rockledge has been arrested.

The investigation into the attempted murder began in September 2016, after a man told police he was driven off the road and into a ditch.

Rockledge police said they needed to build a solid case before making an arrest, which meant months of investigating that included witness interviews, Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab testing and a traffic reconstruction by the Florida Highway Patrol.

The suspect, Travis Berry, has been free throughout the course of the investigation.

In 2016, Berry accused the victim of being on his Brantley Circle property.

It was an allegation the victim denied before driving out of Berry's neighborhood. Police said the suspect followed, and things escalated.

“The suspect was in a truck. He struck the victim's car and ended up putting him in a ditch,” said Lt. Donna Seyferth of the Rockledge Police Department.

That man, who police said dropped off a friend in Berry's neighborhood, managed to escape his car and get help.

By the time police arrived, the suspect was gone.

In addition to attempted murder, Berry was charged with attempted burglary and aggravated battery with a hate crime enhancement.

“There was some evidence of racial overtones to this that had to do with our victim being an African-American male, and consequently, we added those enhancements to the charges,” said Seyferth.

If Berry posts his $300,000 bond, he has several conditions of release, including surrendering any firearms to the sheriff's office and wearing an electronic monitoring device.