Feb 22, 2012 1:34 AM by Chris Welty
Before the Independent Parade even rolled Tuesday, a fight sent a woman to the hospital.
The daughter of the Independent Weekly Publishers Steve May and Cherry Fisher May was punched and knocked unconscious. She is among three people Tuesday charged after a fight broke out over a float.
Lafayette developer Glenn Stewart's grudge against the weekly paper began after a series of reports, featured him for getting an agricultural property exemption that allowed him to pay less property taxes on one of his developments, Parc Lafayette.
In return, Stewart bought four billboards featuring Fisher May's mug shot asking why wasn't her arrest reported in the Independent after she received a DUI.
Floats Mardi Gras day are typically quite colorful and lively, but one float in the Independent parade stole the show before it even started rolling.
"It is a political issue and has nothing to do with Mardi Gras."
The float features a cutout of "The Independent Weekly" publisher Cherry Fisher May holding a steering wheel with a banner below which reads, "Caution!!! Float driven by Cherry Fisher May." the picture and banner refer to May's DUI arrest in 2010.
Police say Erin Fritzgerald, Fisher's with hope to getus step-daughter ripped bannars from the float.
That's when witnesses say Lafayette developer Glenn Stewart confronted her.
"It was real intense, he had no reason to hit her whatsoever. Just because she tore down a banner, it doesn't give you the right to hit a woman, slap, push. He just cold-clocked her," said one eyewitness who didn't want to be identified.
However, police say the punches started between two men, Glenn Stewart and John St. Julien., who was identified to us as her step-father. Police say Fritzgerald was caught in the middle and got punched.
"What happened on the float? Nothing. Do you have any comment? We got vandalized, but it's all good because we forgive, " said a rider on the Cherry May float.
"Another rider told me this: our statement was given to police."
Stewart had no comment Tuesday, however in an interview with KATC last year, he was willing to explain his case.
"I'm just trying to make a point and give the publisher of the independent a dose of their own medicine and see how it feels to be accused of something."