Two Port Barre police officers injured while trying to investigate hit and run

Lybeth Hardy (Photo Courtesy: Port Barre Police Department)
Lybeth Hardy (Photo Courtesy: Port Barre Police Department)

PORT BARRE, La. (KLFY) – Police Chief Deon Boudreaux said two of his officers were attacked and injured while attempting to investigate a hit and run on Saturday.

Two officers responded just after midnight to a report of a vehicle driving recklessly and crashing into a tree and parked car in the 100 block of East Courtableau Drive.

Boudreaux said the complainant identified the car and who it belonged to.

When officers attempted to speak with the owner of the vehicle, the chief says Lybeth Hardy and her 15-year-old son answered the door and were noncompliant with the officers. 

“They immediately started cursing the police officers telling them to get off of the property,” Boudreaux said.

Hadry refused let the officers speak with her husband, the owner of the vehicle, claiming she did not want to wake him up at the time.

She told the officers her husband was not in the vehicle at the time but that her son and daughter were in the vehicle. She did not say who was driving.

The police chief says Hardy’s son, “continued to curse and threaten police officers and by this time several people had started to approach the officers in an aggressive manner.”

“The officers repeatedly advised them to back away but they did not comply and continued cursing and threatening the police officers. Officers attempted to arrest Hardy, but the crowd, consisting of adults, teenagers and younger children, started screaming and yelling at the police, and approached in a quick and aggressive manner. Officers then had to deploy pepper spray to defend themselves from the approaching crowd.

The use of pepper spray dispersed most of the crowd but during the struggle, Hardy’s 15-year-old son picked up a large fishing pole and struck an officer behind the head knocking him to the ground and continued to strike the officer.”

Another officer received minor injuries after being hit with a metal folding chair.

Boudreaux said the officer who was hit in the head suffered a concussion.

Both officers were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries and have since been released.

Backup officers arrived on scene to assist with the situation and make arrests.

Lybeth Hardy was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, hit and run, and resisting an officer.

Her teenage son and her teenage daughter were also arrested. Both were charged with second-degree battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Hardy posted bond Monday morning. The two juveniles were booked and released pending court dates.

Police Chief Deon Boudreaux said he was met with the same treatment when he arrived at the scene:

“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.”

In a statement, he said parenting was to blame for his two officers being injured:

“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.”

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