October 29, 2019
A grand jury indicted a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy Tuesday for assault, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
Deputy Ellison Collins was outside an IHOP restaurant in September 2018, when he encountered a civilian in the parking lot.
Collins, now 39, invited Jerry Allen Vaco, now 61, to slap him in the face. Moments later, the deputy then slapped Vaco across the face with enough force to knock him to the ground, then placed him in handcuffs.
“Everyone is accountable under the law whether they are wearing a uniform or not,” Ogg said. “Grand jurors were presented all of the evidence and determined the deputy should be charged with a crime.”
Collins’ body camera was not on during the incident, which was captured by another officer’s body camera.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division is prosecuting the case. The assault charge is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.