A photo sequence taken during the attack underscores the depths of the doctor’s depravity.
The Independent released the following statement to local media at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday:
Our first concern is of course the health and well-being of Erin. She’s a member of our family and she suffered serious physical injuries yesterday. We worry that she may have long-term health repercussions. That said, we think it’s important that Lafayette understands that only one person is responsible for this incident: Dr. Glenn Stewart. He’s a physician, and he beat a 41-year-old mom and school teacher into unconsciousness and then stood over his unconscious victim and snapped photos of her with his cell phone. And when he was done, he repaired the damage to his float rather than the damage he inflicted on his victim. Our community needs to be protected from Glenn Stewart.
[Editor's Note: This story was again updated at 2:25 p.m. to reflect an interview with Jeremy Royer, who witnessed the incident from a float next to Stewart's.]
|Mugshot courtesy Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office|
At left is Dr. Glenn Stewart's mug shot from his arrest late Tuesday night on a second-degree battery charge for punching Erin May Fitzgerald in the face. Citing eyewitnesses, KATC-TV3 reported that she was hit twice by Stewart. However, another eyewitness has just told The Ind he saw Stewart deliver a single punch to Fitzgerald's face, knocking her out. That witness, Jeremy Royer, also saw Stewart throw a jello shot at Fitzgerald when the doctor was still on the float and first realized she was trying to remove the banner. Royer confirms what other witnesses say, that Fitzgerald was leaving the area when Stewart approached her directly. In other words, she was not collateral damage in another altercation. "Erin was backing off. She was walking away," Royer says. "She turned around, and that's when he swung and hit her. He went dead after her, and she took it right in the face."
Below is a sequence of photographs taken at the scene by John St. Julien, the victim’s stepfather, who lives near the Simcoe Street area where floats gathered early Tuesday in preparation for the Independent Parade (which is not affiliated with The Independent newspaper). Mardi Gras morning this newspaper contacted St. Julien, whose hobby is photography, when photographer Robin May was unable to get to the float to capture images of Stewart’s tasteless display before the parade rolled. Fitzgerald arrived at the float separate from her stepfather. The image captured from behind Stewart as he straddled his unconscious victim to photograph her was taken by an eyewitness who turned his photographs over to The Independent. This newspaper will have more information on the brutal attack in next week’s paper and will update the story as more information becomes available.
|Glenn Stewart dismounts the float to pursue Erin May Fitzgerald. Note the tan leather loafers.|
|Note the tan loafers again. The victim is unconscious with Stewart standing over her.|
|A shot from the rear shows Stewart using his cell phone to photograph his unconscious victim.|
|A shot taken simultaneously from a different angle establishes Stewart's identity as the person photographing the unconscious victim. Note the angle of the shoulder and arms in this and the previous photograph.|
|The victim, Erin May Fitzgerald, regained consciousness about five minutes after the attack.|
Photo by Robin May
Stewart, above left, enjoys a pleasant ride along the Mardi Gras route following the attack.
[Editor's Note: below is the original story, published online Wednesday at 8 a.m]:
Late Tuesday evening, investigators with the Lafayette Police Department arrested Dr. Glenn Stewart, 53, for his vicious attack on 41-year-old elementary school teacher Erin May Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, the mother of three young children, is the daughter and stepdaughter, respectively, of Independent Co-Publishers Steve May and Cherry Fisher May.
Stewart, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 240 pounds, was arrested on a second-degree battery charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. If convicted on the felony charge, Stewart could lose his medical license.
The Independent has obtained images showing the retired radiation oncologist hovering over an unconscious Fitzgerald and taking pictures of her. At no point did the medical doctor attempt to render aid.
Stewart was initially cited with disturbing the peace by fighting, but the charge was upgraded to a felony after police investigated and discovered that he had knocked Fitzgerald unconscious. “The doc knocked the woman out cold,” said one eyewitness, who told The Independent he gave a statement to police.
“It was real intense; he had no reason to hit her whatsoever,” another eyewitness told KATC-TV3. “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.” Witnesses told the station Stewart punched Fitzgerald in the face not once, but twice.
Fitzgerald was taken to a local hospital and treated for her injuries.
The incident was prompted by a Mardi Gras float Stewart entered into the Independent Parade (which is not associated with The Independent newspaper) featuring Cherry Fisher May as the “driver” of the float with the warning: Caution!!! Float Driven by Cherry Fisher May. Stewart also ran Fisher May’s mug from her 2010 DUI arrest, the banner Fitzgerald had attempted to remove from the float while it was parked in the 600 block of Surrey Street before the parade got under way. Read here for more on Stewart’s relentless retaliation against this paper 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.
Fitzgerald was issued a misdemeanor citation for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct, and her stepfather, 60-year-old John St. Julien, was cited for misdemeanor disturbing the peace by fighting.
Stewart's bond was set at $25,000, and he has been released from jail.
We will have more on this developing story in today’s INDsider.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
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Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)