TAMPA — Ray Berry didn’t give a second thought to the homeless man who asked him and his four friends for change as they got out of his car outside a downtown Tampa restaurant.
His friends were visiting from his hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., for a birthday celebration. The Nov. 17 reunion’s good vibe ended on the way home when Berry’s car was lit up by the lights of a convenience store.
In foot-high letters, someone had etched the n-word on the hood of his 2015 Dodge Dart. The car doors and the trunk were also scratched.
Shame, anger and shock welled up in the 29-year-old. He thought of his daughter and his soon-to-be-born son.
“I felt empty and sad,” Berry said. “I felt the sadness of not being able to protect them from this.”
An academic adviser at the University of Tampa, Berry said he doesn’t have the estimated $2,400 to repair his …