JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eric Bridges, 34, was arrested Sunday afternoon on charges of attempted murder in connection with what police described as a horrendous attack on a man Friday.
Bridges (pictured, right) is accused of severely beating and then tying the victim to the bumper of a minivan, dragging the victim for two blocks before the rope was cut and the man was left lying in the street.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the man, who may have already been unconscious, was dragged from the intersection of Moncrief Road and West 36th Street -- the entrance to the Majestic Plaza Apartments -- to Pearce Street. The victim was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries on Friday.
Police recorded graphic video of the incident at the Real Time Crime Center but it was too disturbing to release to the public.
Officers found a minivan Saturday and discovered it was the same minivan that was used to drag the victim. They later learned it had been reported stolen before the incident.
With evidence collected at the crime scene and tips from residents, JSO officers were able to identify Bridges.
While multiple people said the victim was transgender, a family member of the victim identified him as gay, but didn't want his name used. That family member said the victim hasn't woken up at the hospital.
"It sounds like a hate crime, some type of revenge incident," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said of the crime on Friday. "Their purpose was to kill that person, evidently. If they're ... tying them to a vehicle and dragging him through the street, they don't want that person to live.
Eric Brightman, the Majestic Plaza maintenance man, said the attack started inside one of the units.
”They seen him dragging down the street with a rope,” Brightman said.
At first appearance before a judge Monday morning, Bridges was ordered held on $500,000 bond. He is due back in court on Oct. 22.
Bridges has a long rap sheet with charges that include grand theft and resisting an officer. He was released from prison in June 2018.