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Mandeville parking lot spat turns violent, ends in arrest

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, December 14 2021 Dec 14, 2021 December 14, 2021 10:01 AM December 14, 2021 in News
Source: WWL-TV
Richard Suarez Photo: Mandeville Police/WWL-TV

MANDEVILLE - Mandeville Police on Monday responded to a disturbance call that appeared to develop when one driver felt that another driver was maneuvering their vehicle a little too close to their own while backing out of a parking spot.

According to WWL-TV, the incident occurred at a Mandeville shopping center on Highway 190. A bystander captured the incident on their cell phone and uploaded it to social media, where it received numerous views.

Witnesses told reporters a woman in a silver truck was trying to back out of a parking spot and in so doing, her truck got very close to a white van that was parked nearby. 

Witnesses say a man, later identified by police as Richard Suarez, who was in the van, got out, and approached the woman in the truck.

Leanna Morales, an eyewitness, told WWL-TV what happened next, “I just saw this man screaming. At the point that I started watching he was at this lady’s window just screaming at her.” 

Bystanders began to step in, some of them urging Suarez to leave the woman alone. 

“This man seemed so upset, like so angry,” Morales said.

Eventually, an older man made a comment and Suarez began to argue with him.

At this point, the cell phone footage shows both men disappear behind the white van, followed by a noise that sounds like a hit. 

Morales says she saw Suarez throw a punch, which is what caused the older man to fall. 

“Completely just one hit, just fall on the ground. He didn’t get up for about 20 minutes,” Morales said.

Witnesses say the man was conscious when he was taken to the hospital. 

According to police, Suarez left the scene, leading to warrants for his arrest.

He later checked himself into the veteran's hospital, which is where police found him. 

Mandeville Police say Suarez faces charges of second-degree battery, simple assault, and disturbing the peace.

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