It started with a 911 call after midnight about a reported reckless driver spinning tires, losing control, slamming into a tree and a parked vehicle, and then taking off.
Police in Port Barre, Louisiana, soon found the vehicle at a nearby residence, KATC-TV reported, but those inside apparently weren’t very cooperative.
Lybeth Hardy and her 15-year-old son cursed at the cops, refused to answer questions, wouldn’t let them question the vehicle’s owner — Hardy’s husband — because they said he was sleeping and told them to get off their property, police told KATC.
Last Friday’s confrontation — which the town’s police chief said could have become the next Ferguson — escalated from there. And it was all captured on police bodycam.
As Hardy’s son continued cursing and threatening officers, police said about a dozen neighborhood people gathered and began approaching the officers in a threatening manner.
Things intensified further when police tried to arrest Hardy and the gathered group — which included adults, teens and even children — began screaming at the officers and approaching them quickly and aggressively, police told KATC. Police responded with pepper spray.
Hardy’s 15-year-old son then grabbed a large fishing pole and hit an officer in the head with it, police said. After the officer was knocked to the ground, the teen continued hitting the cop, police added.
But the beating reportedly stopped when another officer pulled out his gun and aimed it at the teen, who took off running, KATC said.
“This right here in the little small town of Port Barre, this very well could have been the next Ferguson or Baltimore where a young man got killed because of his action against police officers,” Police Chief Deon Boudreaux told the station.
Two officers were hospitalized — one with head injuries from being hit with the fishing pole, and the other with an arm injury from getting hit with a metal folding chair, KATC said.
“The problem is, it starts at home,” Boudreaux added. “If people would raise their children right to respect authority, whether it be police officers, school teachers … they wouldn’t have all the problems they have today. But when the parents are doing the same thing, the kids are going to follow suit with what the parents do.”
Lybeth Hardy was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, hit and run, and resisting an officer, KATC said, and her teenage son and daughter were both arrested for second-degree battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. Hardy bonded out of jail, the station said, and the teens were booked and released.
Hardy spoke to KATC and blamed the police for the incident.
“Y’all would have seen how aggressive they came to the door, cursing and hollering for no reason, with no respect, no tone of respect in their voice, and Deon is going to say he was proud of his officers?” she said. “I don’t know how you take pride in that.”
Hardy added, “Some cops you just cannot trust, and it’s not all the officers in Port Barre, cause I know a few of them, and they nice, and it’s only a few.”