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San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - September 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company

Mother, son indicted for assaulting former mayor during meeting
San Jacinto News- Times

SHEPHERD – A mother and her 40-year-old son have been indicted for assaulting former Shepherd Mayor Patricia Lunsford. Indicted for assault of a public servant is Jeanette Allen Harrison, 68, of Shepherd and her 40-year-old son John Thomas Harrison. According to the indictment, John Harrison hit Patricia “Pat” Lunsford “in the chin, causing her pain and injury because of an exercise of offi cial power or performance of an offi cial duty” by the former mayor. The indictment against Jeanette Harrison states that she caused injury to Pat Lunsford “by pushing her causing pain and bodily injury.” Bond was set at $2,500 for John Harrison and $2,000 for Jeanette Harrison. Assault on a public servant is a third degree felony. The incident occurred during a Shepherd City Council meeting held on Feb. 8, 2010 In an earlier interview with Lunsford following the meeting, Lunsford said she was attempting to take a break before going into executive session when John Harrison pushed her against the wall in the hallway of the Shepherd Annex Building where council meetings are held, demanding that she listen to him because he wanted to talk to her. “That’s when Jeanette Harrison pushed me. I was so stunned I wasn’t sure what had happened. At that time I thought John Harrison had slapped me. After the meeting, I asked Pct. 2 Constable Tom Yates where he was when they were attacking me in there (hallway). Yates said he didn’t know anything had happened, but it occurred across from his offi ce where he was seated with the door open,” Lunsford said. “I fi rst thought John Harrison slapped me but his mother said she was the one who slapped me and her son pushed me,” Lunsford said. Lunsford later called San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Deputy Roy Pippins who took the charges against the two. Yates, who was asked to attend the meeting and help keep order, said he would have fi led the charges against the two but it is the sheriff’s place to do that. “I didn’t see it happen,” Yates said. Yates said Jeanette Harrison was in his offi ce mad about Mayor Lunsford talking down to her 40-year-old son during the council meeting. “She got up and said something to the mayor who was in the hallway and her son who was talking to the mayor,” Yates said. “I didn’t see what she (mayor) is alleging,” Yates said. “If we had a stronger person on the bench then we wouldn’t be in this trouble.” There were witnesses who did see and hear what happened in the hallway during the break before executive session on the night of Feb. 8. According to Sherry Dickens, Lunsford was standing in the hallway where Jeanette Harrison was seen “steadily jabbing her (Lunsford) around the mouth and nose. I ran in between them and she (Jeanette Harrison) went into Yates’ office. Yates never moved.” Dickens said John Harrison was shouting to Lunsford that she didn’t even live in the city. Pam Donnan said she saw Jeanette Harrison with her “fingers all in Pat’s face and nose.” Donnan said, “Constable Yates was sitting there looking at her. He didn’t get up to do anything.”


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