GRAMERCY, LA (WAFB) - St. James Parish Sheriff's Office officials say an arrest has been made in connection with two black teenagers who were beaten at a Christmas Eve bonfire event.
The sheriff's office is still investigating the incident that happened in Gramercy involving the alleged beating of two young black victims. An arrest was made on Thursday, December 28. Jordan Hitt, 21, is charged with aggravated second degree battery. Hitt is currently behind bars at the St. James Parish Jail in Convent and is awaiting a bond hearing. Officials say the investigation is ongoing and they are encouraging anyone with more information to contact the sheriff's office at 225-562-2200.
Officials with the St. James Parish Sheriff's Office say they received a call around midnight about a disturbance on the levee near LA 44 and David Street. The Gramercy Police Department was also dispatched to the scene. Responding officers arrived to find a fight had taken place on the levee that resulted in two victims being taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries.
La'Quesha Scott, the mother of one of the victims, said her 15-year-old son, Sam, was beaten by a group of men after talking to a white girl at the event. She added her son was released from the hospital Wednesday and gave a statement to the sheriff's office. She also says the other victim of the incident is her son's 17-year-old cousin, Shannon Dumas.
La'Quesha Scott took to Facebook after the incident, alleging that four or five men attacked the two teenagers. The place was filled with hundreds of people Sunday night, meaning there are dozens of potential witnesses. That's why the families of the victims say they posted on social media.
"It feels like it's about to be a pushover and we're not going to let that go like that," said Lahoma Dumas, the mother of the 17-year-old.
Lahoma Dumas says she was horrified Sunday night. Her son, Shannon, was taken to the hospital after a brutal beating, but 17 stitches later, he's doing fine. The teen says he still doesn't understand why the fight ever started.
"A white girl started talking to one of my black friends and they were running it with each other and she had a boyfriend and her boyfriend got mad," Shannon Dumas explained.
From there, Shannon Dumas says the conversation escalated and more people gathered around.
"And I asked him if he wanted to fight and he said, 'Yeah,' so he was like yeah, so I took my jacket off and when I took my jacket off, somebody hit me with a bottle and I fell and they hit me again and I fell again and they started jumping me," Shannon Dumas added.
He and his cousin, who was also injured, insist they did not throw the first punches. They say five or six white teenagers surrounded them and attacked.
"The dude's friends ended up sneaking me from behind and they had pulled me by the hood of my jacket," Sam Scott said.
Sam Scott has already been interviewed by police and given names of the boys he says were responsible, but the mothers feel like the case is not being taken seriously.
"Down here, to me, it's like when you're white, you're right."
"I feel like if they would have done that to them, they would have been in jail the same night."
"To me, nothing is being done and it's not right. They could have taken my son from me that night. All I want is justice."
In the meantime, they're taking the case to social media. A post has already been shared over 1,000 times. They're asking anyone who saw what happened to step up.
"Any witnesses out there, y'all should come forward. If y'all have pictures or videos of whomever or video of them doing this, come out and let us know. Let the police know. Let the news know," said Lahoma Dumas.
"I want to get people in jail for it," said Sid Berthelot, deputy chief with the St. James Parish Sheriff's Office. "Totally uncalled for, what happened. It's a shame. We're going to bring the people who did this to justice."