Two Jacksonville Police officers were assaulted and three family members tear gassed and arrested early Friday during a brief melee in the 200 block of Newton Street.
Juanita Lara, 55, and her sons Gabriel Lara, 28, and Martin Lara, 34, were arrested and bonded Friday in connection with the assault. Juanita Lara apparently made bail, although Gabriel Lara and Martin Lara were still listed in custody in the Cherokee County Jail late Friday, records show. The names of the two assaulted officers were not immediately released by Jacksonville Police.
About 1:45 a.m. Friday, three officers responded to the front yard of a north Jacksonville residence in response to a call of a disturbance in progress. When they arrived, they overheard a man yelling at someone in an aggressive manner, according to Jacksonville Police Sgt. Jason Price.
Officers found Martin Lara, Gabriel Lara and Juanita Lara in the midst or aftermath of a violent altercation. Juanita Lara apparently was attempting to keep her two adult sons from fighting one another, Sgt. Price said.
Martin Lara appeared to be very agitated — although his mother held him somewhat at bay. Gabriel Lara was standing on the front porch with a visible injury from an apparent earlier fight with his brother, reports show.
Martin Lara "immediately challenged the officers and demanded they leave his property," according to the statement issued by police.
Officers instead instructed Martin Lara to remain in the front yard and to calm down. But he refused and attempted to run away, according to reports.
The officers attempted to stop Martin Lara but were interrupted by Juanita Lara blocking the officers from reaching her son, Sgt. Price said.
She and Martin Lara were in the process of being placed on the ground by officers. But as this was taking place, Martin Lara was able get on top of one of the officers and hold him to the ground by placing his hand on his throat.