Mom and children arrested after officers attacked in Port Barre, officers hospitalized
PORT BARRE – Two police officers were hospitalized after they were attacked in a neighborhood while trying to investigate a hit-and-run crash.
Police were called to the 100 block of East Courtableau in Port Barre in reference to a person driving recklessly. The driver lost control, struck a tree and a parked vehicle and then drove off. Officers were able to find the vehicle at a nearby home.
Lybeth Hardy and her 15-year-old son answered the door of the home, but started cursing at officers telling them to leave. They refused to answer questions and would not allow them to speak with Hardy's husband, who was the owner of the vehicle, since he was sleeping.
According to police, Hardy told the officers that she was in the vehicle with her children, but would not tell officers who was driving. Police say that others from the neighborhood began approaching the officers as the teenager continued to curse and threaten them.
The officers tried to arrest Hardy, but the crowd, consisting of adults, teens and children, started screaming at the police and approached them in an aggressive manner. Police say that the officers began to use pepper spray to defend themselves from the crowd.
Hardy's 15-year-old son, then picked up a fishing pole and struck the officer in the head, knocking him to the ground and continued to strike him. The teen ran after the officer pulled out his gun and aimed it at the teen.
According to Chief Deon Boudreaux, the other officer was struck with a metal chair and a bicycle was also used on one of the officers. The officers were both taken to the hospital, one with head injuries and one with an arm injury.
Hardy was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a vehicle, hit and run and resisting an officer. Her teenage son and daughter were also arrested for second-degree battery of an officer and resisting arrest. Hardy bonded out of a jail and the two teens were booked and released
Chief Deon Boudreaux released a statement about the incident:
"When I arrived on scene, I was met with disrespect not only from adults but from teenagers and preteen children as well. One of the children took his shirt off and approached me in a combative manner and begin cursing me, using very vulgar language which included derogatory and racist remarks. He done this in front of his mother.
There is a parenting problem when children can stand in the presence of their parents cursing, threatening and assaulting police officers and using a racist terms towards others. These officers were there to investigate a hit-and-run crash but instead had to fight with a family of all ages, defend their own lives and nearly had to use deadly force, all because of the disrespect and aggressive lifestyle that was taught from parents to children. Had back up not arrived, had there been deadlier weapons laying around the yard, an officer, a husband, a father, could've lost his life over a hit and run complaint. A 15-year-old young man could have lost his life had it not been for the compassion and restraint by that police officer.
As I watched the police officers body camera videos, I was proud of the police officers' incredible restraint and professionalism but, I felt disgust towards the mother of those children. To see a whole family of adults and children surrounding police officers cursing and disrespecting them and making threats and then assaulting them with anything they can get their hands on, which included the fishing pole, the folding chair and one young man even picked up a bicycle and struck an officer. It's obvious this mother taught her children to disrespect authority and it could have very well cost her the life of one of her children. I find this very disturbing and disgusting. The lack of respect and lack of self-discipline.''