The hot television story of the week, at least so far, is about the lunatic in Florida who backed up so he could literally ran over a bagger.
Thirty-one-year-old Robert Paul Vance, who is being described as an habitual traffic offender, turned a verbal dispute with 46-year-old Joseph Calderazzo into a couple of felony charges. The incident occurred in heavy traffic on Highway 41 in Lutz, Florida about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Vance cut off a pack of motorcycles returning from the Florida National Cemetery in Sumter County northeast of Tampa. At a red light, Calderazzo confronted Vance about his erratic driving. Vance backed up and drove into and over Calderazzo’s bike. Apparently, Vance was sober.
A passing motorist named Abraham Garcia, filmed the incident on his smart phone and posted the video to his Facebook page where it has gone viral. Garcia told WFTS, “The guy driving the car was driving recklessly, like crazy out of control…I saw him almost run one of the bikers over, like off the side of the road. So, then the bikers caught up to him at a red light and words started exchanging, and then the guy went complete psychopath.”
Calderazzo, a Navy veteran, suffered a broken leg and a sprained knee as a result of the collision. His passenger, Melanie Ann Milinkovich, suffered abrasions consistent with a motorcycle accident.
Vance destroyed his right front tire during the collision but managed to flee the scene. He was apprehended within minutes by the Florida Highway Patrol after he stopped to change his tire. He was initially charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. The charges were upgraded over the weekend and he is now charged attempted felony murder. His license was suspended at the time he drove into Calderazzo and Milinkovich. Vance was convicted in 2011 of hit and run and driving with a suspended license.
Calderazzo told WTSP “I thought the guy was trying to kill us obviously.”
“You know, you don’t know what’s going through your mind. Is he going to put the car in reverse? Is he going to turn around? Is he going to stop and pull out a gun? You don’t know what’s going on.”
Vance is now being held in the Pasco County jail. His bail is set at $115,000.