Early Christmas for Highlands Co. boy who was savagely attacked

Community helps make the holidays brighter for an 11-year-old domestic violence victim.

A Highlands County boy who was savagely attacked last month got an early Christmas Saturday.

Eleven-year-old Zachariah Ward was beaten and stabbed in November, allegedly by a man who was staying at the home with the child’s mother.

Police say Colton Diggers, 24, attacked Zachariah because he was talking in his sleep.

On Saturday, the West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and Riders Against Child Abuse, delivered more than $700 worth of gifts to Zachariah.

Daniel Baker, a volunteer firefighter, who was on the scene that night, says it broke the hearts of all first responders.

“It just hits you like a train and that's what it did. Afterwards, it was just shock and devastation,” says Baker.

“I think it's pretty neat them all coming together and kinda just showing him support,” says Ryan Ward, Zachariah’s dad. “I think him knowing that he's safe in his hometown is a real cool thing.”

Among the gifts, Zachariah received tickets to Legoland, a new tv and video games.

Driggers is in the Highland County jail charged with attempted first-degree murder and other charges.

Meantime, Zachariah’s family has created a GoFundMe Page to help pay for his medical expenses and therapy.

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