SEBRING — Colton Dixie Sherwood, 25, of Sebring was arrested on Thursday, July 5 on multiple charges after leading police on a short but high-speed car pursuit. According to an arrest report by the Sebring Police Department, Colton was charged with domestic battery and assault, among other charges. Because of the domestic nature of the charges, the names of the victim and witnesses will not be used for their safety.
About 2:45 p.m. Thursday, SPD officers were dispatched to Burger King in South Sebring in regards to a domestic disturbance and claims that a small child had been run over in the parking lot by Sherwood, who was driving a black Kia Forte. Upon arrival, the officers soon ascertained that no child had been run over.
Sebring Police Officer Diego Serrano overheard Sargent Mike Cutolo on his police radio saying that he had arrived in his marked cruiser on the scene and saw a black vehicle trying to flee the area. The driver was Sherwood. Despite the lawful orders telling Sherwood to stop, Sherwood allegedly drove off. According to reports, he led Cutolo on a three-minute chase that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph on U.S. 27. The report indicates Sherwood eventually lost control and crashed the vehicle at approximately 45 mph on the west side of the highway. Cutolo apprehended the defendant, who was taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center for observation.
Officer Serrano made contact with the victim at Dunkin’ Donuts, south of Burger King. She told Serrano that she lived with Sherwood and a child “as a family for three years.” The victim told the deputy that she and Sherwood went to the donut shop after they had already been arguing. Sherwood was outside of the vehicle while the victim was crying inside the car. The couple then left, with the victim driving, and were approaching the intersection of U.S. 27 and the entrance to the Desoto Square Shopping Center when Sherwood reached over from the passenger seat and took the keys out of the ignition, got out of the car and ran to the plaza lot with the keys.
The victim flagged down a car with two women in it and explained the situation. The victim and her child, who is less than 1 year old, rode with the women to the plaza. At this point, witnesses say that Sherwood was back at the car and into the driver’s seat with the keys. The victim said she returned to the car also and was trying to put the baby back into the car seat.
While doing so, Sherwood allegedly put the car in drive and reverse several times causing the rear passenger tire to continually roll over the victim’s foot.
The victim told police said Sherwood did it on purpose. The two women acted as witnesses and agreed with her statement. They pointed out that Sherwood even rolled over on her foot and let the car rest on it for a time, according to reports. The victim was allegedly screaming in pain at Sherwood the entire time.
The victim handed off her child to one of the women who gave her the ride. The victim told Serrano that Sherwood then drove just north into the Burger King parking lot. The women, victim and baby followed him in the other car. At that point, the victim said she didn’t recall exactly what happened.
She told police she was hit open-handed but couldn’t remember which location they were at when Sherwood hit her. The two women stepped up as witnesses, but became victims when Sherwood allegedly charged toward them with balled fists.
After they followed Sherwood back to the Burger King parking lot, the first witness told Serrano that Sherwood got out of the car and headed to their vehicle and the two witnesses yelled at him. The women got back into their car and Sherwood hit the passenger side window with an unknown object “causing a large vertical scratch on the window.” The officers estimated the damage at $200.
The witnesses called 911 at that time.
One witness told Serrano that Cutolo “arrived on the scene and drew his gun from his holster and pointed it at the defendant who had returned to his vehicle.”
Serrano’s observations of the victim’s injuries coincided with her statement. He said in the report that her “left foot have a large amount of swelling and redness,” Serrano reported. He wrote that there was a small amount of swelling to her right eye.
Sherwood is still in the Highlands County Jail as of press time on Friday. His charges are: domestic violence aggravated battery, domestic violence battery, simple assault, criminal mischief, resisting without violence, driving on a suspended license with knowledge, and fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer at high speeds. Bond is set at $36,250.