An Orange Park man was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated battery after repeatedly striking a man with a wooden cane, deputies say.
Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched at approximately 10:47 p.m. Wednesday in reference to an assault in progress. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with a male victim who stated he was homeless and had been invited by text message to come to the Orange Park residence to pick up his mail, he told deputies.
The majority of how the incident unfolded is removed from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. When asked why these redactions were made, the sheriff’s office cites Florida Statute 119.
“Under Florida State Statute 119.071, confessions and admissions of guilt are exempt from public records disclosure and should not be released until such time as the case is finally determined by adjudication, dismissal, or other final disposition. Such statements shall be redacted from any reports requested pursuant to FSS Chapter 119,” a sheriff’s spokesman said.
Readers can access the requested arrest reports here.
The victim told deputies that as he approached the residence, he saw Brian Ford, 39, of Orange Park. He told deputies that Ford struck him with a brown, wooden cane multiple times. The victim suffered severe injuries to his right eye, nose and mouth.
Clay County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and transported the victim to Orange Park Medical Center for treatment.
Three witnesses to the incident spoke with deputies. Their statements have also been removed from the arrest report, with the sheriff’s office citing the same law as seen above to explain the reasons for their redactions.
The three witnesses provided sworn written statements to deputies. The victim was unable to provide a written statement due to his injuries, the arrest report said.
Ford was not originally present when deputies arrived, however, while deputies were still on the scene, Ford returned to the residence. He was detained and read his Miranda Rights. He agreed to speak with deputies and his statements have also been removed from the arrest report.
Ford was found to be the primary aggressor and was arrested on one charge of aggravated battery. He was taken to Clay County Jail and his bond is set at $50,003.
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