The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged a 30-year-old man from El Salvador after he struck a motorcyclist during a road rage incident on Sunday in Sarasota.
Deputies were first alerted just after 5:00 p.m., to a possible aggravated battery near the intersection of Beneva Road and Riviera Drive. A witness recorded the incident on his cell phone which showed the victim riding a motorcycle southbound on Beneva Road behind a grey Mazda 3 hatchback. The two drivers got into a dispute which led to the driver of the Mazda intentionally swerving and striking the motorcyclist. The video was shared on sheriff’s office social media accounts and garnered national media attention.
Through investigation, detectives quickly located the vehicle on Tuesday, hidden along Lime Avenue in Sarasota. The vehicle was stripped of its tag, all four doors and windows. Detectives identified the driver as Magdiel Medrano-Bonilla, of 2341 Lockwood Lake Circle West. Through text messages gathered on Medrano-Bonilla’s cell phone, detectives learned he was planning to destroy the vehicle to avoid criminal charges. Medrano-Bonilla, born in El Salvador, is an illegal alien who entered the United States through Texas. The sheriff’s office is in communication with ICE to determine next steps.
“This is another example of people illegally coming into our community to commit crimes.” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “We have had this conversation time and time again but the problem doesn’t seem to be going away. When individuals come into our community and victimize those who live here, I take it personally. Thankfully though, through our partnership with ICE, we have been able to quickly notify their agency and look forward to them prioritizing this case so Medrano-Bonilla will no longer have an opportunity to commit crimes in Sarasota County.”
Medrano-Bonilla is charged with Aggravated Battery and Operating a Vehicle without a License. He remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Jail without bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.