UPDATE: The Florida Highway Patrol has amended the charges against Robert Vance. He is now charged with two counts of attempted murder. Vance is still charged with leaving the scene of a crash with injury and driving with a suspended license. His bond is $115,000.
PREVIOUS STORY: (WFLA) – Joe Calderazzo said he and his friend Melanie Milinkovich were out for a peaceful ride on Calderazzo’s Harley with hundreds of other riders Monday. Their calm was shattered in seconds, Calderazzo told News Channel 8.
Calderazzo is a Navy veteran and had gone to the Florida National Cemetery to pay respects to fallen veterans.
“It started out so beautiful, not a cloud in the sky,” he said.
Calderazzo and his friends were on their way home when they noticed a car weaving in and out of traffic.
“The car is driving erratically, cut off our lead biker … That immediately put us on high alert,” Calderazzo said.
The car sped off after allegedly cutting off that lead biker but ended up next to Calderazzo and the group at a traffic light on U.S. 41.
Heated words were exchanged. “His window was already down. He immediately started yelling and cursing at us,” Calderazzo said.
Abe Garcia recorded what happened next. The driver of the car backed up and rammed into Calderazzo’s motorcycle, sending him and Milinkovich to the ground.
“I was like, ‘We are lucky to be alive.’ Before it was just like, this guy hit me, then I was mad that I got hit and my bike was messed up. I didn’t know that the car had gone completely over us,” Calderazzo said.
He said he suffered a broken leg. Milinkovich has a severely sprained ankle and road rash on her leg from where the tire of the car spun on her skin, they said.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Robert Vance and charged him with aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident with injury. Troopers classify Vance as a habitual offender. He has a lengthy criminal history, including time in prison.