Lafayette’s Mardi Gras has it over New Orleans in this respect. We have no Carnival criminal drama of this intertwined variety at all. This story wins the prize for Carnival depravity for 2012!!

The peaceful Mardi Gras celebration turned violent for three Lafayette residents on Tuesday, February 21, resulting in a woman being knocked unconscious and a Hub City doctor’s arrest.  Lafayette developer and Dr. Glenn Stewart was arrested without incident Tuesday night at his home.  He is charged with second-degree battery.

Glenn Stewart
Dr. Glenn Stewart

The charges stem from a one sided fight that took place Tuesday at around 12:40 P. M. near the start of the Independent Parade (which is not associated with the Independent newspaper) route.  Stewart’s float referenced Lafayette newspaper publisher Cherry Fisher May and her August 2010 DUI arrest.

The incident was prompted by the Mardi Gras float Stewart entered into the Independent Parade featuring Cherry Fisher May (the victim’s Mother) as the “driver” of the float with the warning on big banners: Caution!!! Float Driven by Cherry Fisher May.  Stewart also ran Fisher May’s mug shot from her 2010 DUI arrest.

The parade has stated they were unaware of the personal attack banners Stewart covered the sides of his float with at the last minute.

Read here for more on Stewart’s relentless retaliation against the Independent Weekly for its coverage of an agricultural tax loophole he took advantage of for his Parc Lafayette development at the corner of Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.

According to Lafayette police, Erin May Fitzgerald, 41, Lafayette, approached Stewart’s float near the start and attempted to remove a banner.  Stewart confronted Fitzgerald, who is also Fisher May’s stepdaughter.

Fitzgerald’s stepfather, John St. Julien, 60, Lafayette, intervened, sparking an altercation between the two men.  St. Julien took photographs after she was knocked out. Those photographs show Stewart taking pictures of the unconscious woman.

Glenn Stewart Taking Cell Phone Photos of Erin Fitzgerald
Glenn Stewart Taking Cell Phone Photos of Erin Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was hit in the face during the fight, knocking her out and leaving her with facial injuries.  She was treated at a local hospital.

Erin Fitzgerald
Erin May Fitzgerald “after”

Stewart and St. Julien each were issued a misdemeanor summons for disturbing the peace by fighting.  Fitzgerald also received a misdemeanor summons for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.  The case remains under investigation.

While Stewart paid all fees and met regulations for his float, Independent Parade Organizers said they weren’t aware of its content and said this type of signage should not be allowed. In a written statement, Chairman Mike Mitchell said, they can’t let this ever happen again. This can’t be in our parade. He said the committee will re-examine their signage rules.

It’s possible Dr. Stewart could lose his medical license for harming her, then failing to aid the woman he punched.  Ms. Fitzgerald has apologized for messing with the float. We’ll have to see how this plays out.