Family of man beaten, dragged wants upgraded charges against suspect

Eric Bridges, 34, pleaded not guilty to related charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a Jacksonville man who police said was beaten and dragged is pushing to have charges increased against the man accused of the crime.

Eric Bridges, 34, is accused of tying a 38-year-old man to the bumper of his van and dragging him two blocks before cutting him loose. The family of the victim was in court Wednesday as Bridges pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and attempted murder.

Out of concern for their safety, News4Jax is not naming the victim or his family members, who said the victim is still in the hospital, unable to talk or walk.

“He is out of ICU, and he’s been moved to a room. He is still not responding. Every now and then he will move his hands, but that’s about it," said the victim's mother-in-law.

The family wants the attempted murder charge to be elevated. The victim's sister-in-law told News4Jax the victim is gay and that he might have known the suspect from years ago. She said she was in court when Bridges went before a judge.

"He just kind of looked at us and turned his head," she said.

The victim’s family said they are in the process of looking for a rehab center.

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