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Two arrested, one injured after fight draws officers from across city

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 6, 2010 at 12:06 a.m.


Two men were arrested and a 16-year-old girl was injured after a fight broke out at a car wash on Ben Wilson Street near Memorial High School on Thursday.

At 3:30 p.m., a group of Memorial High School students began fighting in the business' parking lot.

The Victoria Police Department and the Victoria County Sheriff's Office were called to the incident, originally believing they were coming to help an injured officer.

"We came from all over the city to assist a fellow officer," said Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor.

When officers arrived, they found a fight in progress.

"We found that Officer Dowden was fine and was investigating the fight," O'Connor said.

Bryan Dowden is a school resource officer at MHS.

Jasmine Rodriguez, a sophomore at MHS, was injured in the fight.

Jasmine said the fight started when a woman brought her two daughters, who also attend MHS, to the carwash and instigated a fight between the three girls.

"I was minding my business when, all of a sudden, (one of the daughters) comes and starts hitting me. That's when my cousin jumped in to help me," said Jasmine, who was left with a black eye and numerous scratches.

The Victoria Advocate attempted to speak with the mother and girls accused of fighting. However, they declined to comment other than to say they were not involved in the incident and did not know Jasmine and her family.

Jasmine's cousin, 18-year-old Luis Garcia, was one of the men arrested.

Jasmine said friends and other family members of her opponents jumped in the fight, resulting in the arrest of another man.

His name was not available Thursday night.

"I am proud of him," Garcia's mother, Benita Garcia, said. "He saw his cousin getting beat up and he jumped in to defend her."

Garcia described her son as a good kid who never got into trouble and was on schedule to graduate.

Jasmine said this incident is just the most recent in a string of incidents involving the mother and her children that began the day after Easter.

"The mother and her daughters came to our door about 3:30 a.m. shouting something about my daughter being involved in a drive-by shooting," said Jasmine's mother, Nancy.

After reporting the incident to the Victoria Police Department, Nancy said the girls and their mother continued to torment her daughter, following Jasmine around and threatening violence.

Jasmine's mother said she reported the incidents to Dowden and changed her daughter's phone number as a means to thwart off the verbal attacks.

"I asked for a protective order, but they said there was nothing I can do because the girls are in the same school," Jasmine's mother said.

"I just don't understand why they arrested my nephew when he was just protecting her," she said. "I don't understand why they didn't arrest that woman."

Although she held an icepack over her bruised, swollen eye Thursday evening, Jasmine said she held little animosity toward her attackers.

"What's done is done. I'm not going to lower myself to their level," she said. "I'm mad about what they did to my cousin. They could have did whatever they wanted to me, but not to my cousin," she said.

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