Six men attack Gainesville police officers


Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.

Six men attacked Gainesville police officers early Sunday morning after one officer used his Taser to subdue an unruly crowd member.

More than 500 people were milling in the streets after what Lt. Keith Kameg said was a unorganized “Fest party” loosely associated with the weekend-long hard rock festival held in downtown Gainesville.

“This is the second year we’ve had problems with some of the fringe groups of these Fest partygoers,” Kameg said, citing a similar issue at a party last year. “Most of the kids are fine, but you have these fringe groups that treat the Fest like the city is their toilet and like a G-8 Summit and they want to protest.”

Kameg said next year staffing levels will be increased for the Fest. This is the eighth year that the event has taken place, bringing hundreds of bands to numerous venues around Gainesville.

Trouble began early Sunday morning when Officer Steve Jones attempted to arrest an unidentified subject who had refused to move out of the way of a police vehicle driving in the 400 block of N.W. Eighth Street.

Ryan J. Clarey, 25, of New Hampshire attempted to free the unknown suspect from Jones’ grasp by throwing a punch at the officer, Kameg said.

Jones used his Taser on Clarey and arrested him; meanwhile, the man who Jones was originally trying to detain ran away. During that process, several other bystanders attacked Jones, and other officers were called in for backup.

“He called for emergency backup, and it was two versus six for a short time until 20 more units responded,” Kameg said. “People threw rocks and bottles at the police.”

Also arrested at the scene were Douglas Robert Demarest, 26, of St. Petersburg on charges of assaulting an officer, breach of peace and disorderly conduct; Joseph M. Rogers, 21, of Pennsylvania on charges of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest; Jeremy David Allensworth, 23, of Missouri on charges of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest; and Michael William Chrisemer, 22, of Tallahassee on charges of an open container violation.

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