[Hpn] Formerly Homeless Prizewinner Charged in Beating

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Thu, 20 Sep 2001 12:00:45 -0700


ok, now ask yourselves this: does AP publish stories when any other
sweepstakes or prize winner is involved in domestic violence?

please don't think I'm excusing Mr. Collier's behavior. it's pretty obvious
that he has a problem. it's also pretty obvious that the Associated Press is
interested in perpetuating the stereotype that homeless = dysfunctional.

as long as the public buys that myth, we're going to continue to prioritize
funding shelters and prisons rather than affordable housing.

peace,

chance
====================================
Wednesday September 19 2:54 PM ET

Prizewinner Charged in Beating

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A formerly homeless day laborer who won a $1
million instant prize at McDonald's this month was arrested on charges of
beating his fiancee.

Patrick Collier, 35, was released from the Volusia County Jail on $2,500
bond Tuesday after being arrested at his Ormond Beach home on a felony
charge of aggravated battery against 29-year-old Sandra Fabian.

``It was just a fight,'' said Collier's attorney, J. Peyton Quarles. He said
Fabian had left the state, and that the charge against his client could be
reduced to battery.

According to a police report, Fabian was left bleeding from her mouth and
nose, and had a swollen cheek. She was treated at a hospital for head and
neck injuries, police said.

Collier went into a McDonald's in Holly Hill on Sept. 1 for a 99-cent
breakfast sandwich for Fabian, and walked out the winner of a $1 million
instant prize, one of five being given out by the company.

McDonald's had announced the promotion in the wake of an FBI investigation
last month into McDonald's Monopoly game. That game was allegedly rigged by
an employee of a company hired by McDonald's to handle game promotions and
security. 

Just months before winning the prize, Collier and Fabian were homeless,
sleeping on cardboard boxes and earning $50 a day as laborers when they
could find work. 

Collier is supposed to get $50,000 each year from McDonald's for the next 20
years. But he won't get anything from first check, due next week, because he
owes back child support and must reimburse the state and federal governments
for welfare payments made to his children.

Collier was simply unable to make those payments the past four years because
he didn't have a regular job and was living on the street, said Laurence
Bartlett, his attorney in the child-support case.

Collier was arrested 14 times in central Florida in the past seven years,
four times for domestic violence, state records indicate.

Copyright  2001 The Associated Press

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