Porter police arrested an Illinois woman and her daughter Saturday on a wide array of charges after a fracas at Porter Beach that police said was initially racially motivated in which half a dozen people suffered minor injuries.
Police arrested Tatianna Guzman, 27, of Bolingbrook, Ill., on five felony charges including neglect of a dependent, intimidation and battery; and six misdemeanor counts, including intimidation, battery, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Police also arrested her mother, Kimberly Gavaris, 51, of the same Bolingbrook address, on two felony counts of neglect of a dependent and eight misdemeanors including battery, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Police allege the women, who were intoxicated, later threatened to kill officers as well as a representative from Child Protective Services called in to take Guzman’s two young daughters, a report said.
Police were called around 3:08 p.m. Saturday to the beach, which is part of Indiana Dunes National Park but is within the town of Porter, said Capt. John Lane, public information officer for the Porter Police Department and one of the officers who responded.
The incident began when the women’s dog wasn’t on a leash and kept wandering over to a black family on the beach who they said they didn’t want the dog coming near their children, Lane said.
A report said the women kept approaching the family and trying to start something, and the first physical contact allegedly came when Gavaris allegedly pulled the man’s hair and hit him on the back.
“You can’t tell me what to do,” Gavaris reportedly yelled at the man.
She and her daughter allegedly yelled racial epithets at the family, multiple witnesses told police, and the family left because they didn’t want to be part of the disturbance, the report said.
Lane said he regrets that he has been unable to find that family.
“Frankly, this was racially motivated. I would like to push this further,” he said.
Several bystanders tried to intervene when Gavaris allegedly attacked the man and suffered scrapes and other bruises when Gavaris allegedly punched, slapped, kicked and scratched them, police said.
While liquor is allowed at the beach, Lane said, police rarely have problems with intoxicated beachgoers and the beach has a family atmosphere.
“Everybody pretty much said the same thing, ‘We have family here. Stop what you’re doing,’” Lane said of witnesses at the beach who tried to stop the women.
The women, Lane said, were staying at a local motel and rangers with the national park had already warned them on Thursday about keeping their dog on a leash.
Bolingbrook mother, daughter face charges after Porter Beach fracas that police say was ‘racially motivated’
Police allege the women, who were intoxicated, later threatened to kill officers as well as a representative from Child Protective Services.