Baton Rouge police arrested a Zachary man Saturday accused of injuring a police officer while she was trying to break up a downtown fight that began after the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade.
Police Lt. Don Kelly said in a news release the Police Department booked Christopher Hensley, 18, of 23456 Pony St., Zachary, into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of battery of a police officer.
About 2:45 p.m., two men started fighting near the intersection of Florida and Lafayette streets, police Lt. Don Kelly said in a news release.
An 18-year-old man later identified as Hensley was seen throwing a beer can at another man, but when the 41-year-old police corporal tried to arrest the can-throwing man, he punched her in the face, Kelly said.
At least two bystanders, including an off-duty police officer from north Louisiana who was visiting Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras, helped arrest Hensley, Kelly said.
The officer, whose name was not made public, was taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center for treatment of lacerations to her eye and face and was later released, Kelly said.
Police were not sure exactly where the incident occurred, but believe it was near the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center hotel, Kelly said.
Kent Fontenot, of Zachary, said he did not see the fight from his eighth-floor hotel room at the nearby Hilton, but did see the aftermath and response from Baton Rouge police.
He estimated between 20 and 30 police cars, at least 15 police motorcycles, and other officers on bicycles and horseback swarmed around the scene within minutes.
He said he thought someone may have been shot, so he came down from his room to find out what had happened.
“I was checking their demeanor and they were fairly calm,” Fontenot said of the police at the scene.
Clay Morris, of Hernando, Miss., who said he originally was from Baton Rouge, was sitting near the Hilton at the intersection of Florida and Lafayette when he saw a crowd gather near Poor Boy Lloyd’s Restaurant.
“We heard a bunch of people yell, ‘Fight! … Fight!’ like they do in junior high,” Morris said, adding he did not see the punch or can-throwing incident.
Pretty soon, police started pouring in from all directions, he said.
“They had it well covered,” Morris said of the Police Department’s response. “They owned it.”