The 21-year-old son of a Sanford police officer is accused of attacking a homeless man in front of a Sanford bar. A warrant for the arrest of Justin Collison has been issued alleging a charge of aggravated battery, a 3rd degree felony. As a result of the attack, it is reported that the victim, Sherman Ware, suffered a broken nose. Collison is the son of Lt. Chris Collison who is assigned to the Sanford police department’s patrol division.
The attack was recorded on video by a person outside the Wet Spot bar on Park Avenue in downtown Sanford. Collison was questioned at the scene but not arrested. Acting Sanford police chief Capt. Jerry Hargrett said Wednesday that officers made “blatant” policy violations that night, including not handcuffing Collison or patting him down. Hargrett said he wasn’t sure why the officers didn’t arrest Collison, but said there was no evidence Collison was given preferential treatment. The police department launched an internal investigation into four officers, including a sergeant, who were associated with the case.
The video shows Ware trying to break up a fight on the sidewalk when Collison walks up behind him and punches Ware in the back of the head. Ware pitched forward, hit his head on a nearby light pole and fell to the ground. He was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital with a broken nose. A few days after the fight, police asked the State Attorney’s Office in Sanford to review the case and decide whether to file an aggravated battery charge against Collison.