Four men visiting Gainesville for The Fest 8 were arrested after police say they beat an officer who was trying to arrest a man at a house party early Sunday morning.

Two officers were driving on Northwest Eighth Street and found that a crowd of about 100 people were blocking the road, dancing and partying, in front of a house at Northwest Third Avenue and Northwest Eighth Street, according to Gainesville Police Department spokesman Keith Kameg.

The officers tried to clear the street using horns and sirens, but one partier refused to move, he said.

As officers tried to arrest him, Ryan Clarey, 25, tried to pull the man away and attacked Officer Steve Jones, Kameg said.

Clarey was warned and then Tasered, but as Jones cuffed Clarey, onlookers threw rocks and cans at the officer. About six people punched and kicked him in the back of the head, Kameg said.

Another two officers called for backup and fought the attackers until 20 more units arrived, he said.

Clarey, Joseph Rogers, 21, Jeremy Allensworth, 23, and Douglas Demeresti, 26, were arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer.

Kameg said most people enjoy The Fest for its music and entertainment, and the men arrested belonged to a "fringe element" who only come looking for a place to stay.

"Those five people who were arrested were absolute fools," he said. "They think Gainesville is their personal toilet…coming from behind shows what kind of garbage they are."

Kameg added that police will be out in full force in years to come.

"It's not about going to see a band when you do this," he said. "It will not be tolerated."

(16) comments


Four people were charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, yet GPD spokesman Keith Kameg describes a fifth person in his statement -- what was that person charged with? Clearly something bad, as Kameg also describes that person as "garbage" as the other four that were named.

I certainly don't condone in any way what any of these people are alleged to have done, but I am certainly surprised by the tone of spokesperson Kameg's statment on behalf of the Gainesville Police Department.

Lil Miss Thang Thang

"…coming from behind shows what kind of garbage they are."

And how else would you propose attacking a police officer? I am not going to say that attacking a police officer is the right thing (It's circumstantial!), but if you are going to get into a physical conflict with an officer of the law, attacking them from behind sounds like a more effective method. Cops have guns, batons, and tazers. Who would try to fight a cop face to face? Police use cowardly methods to arrest people all of the time.

This whole thing started because an "unidentified suspect" was dancing in the road in the way of Officer Jones' car. Instead of trying to talk to the suspect and tell him to move, they snatch him up and start to arrest him. This was a foolish move made by the officer, considering there was a "crowd of about 100 people" (Gainesville Sun reports 500..) surrounding him chanting things that clearly indicated no injustice would be going down unaccounted for..

Everyone could have approached the situation more tactfully.


Actually the fifth person mentioned was pulled aside for an open container, and unfortunately was lumped in with the other four. He is a peaceful guy and would never assault anyone.


actually, the 5th person was pulled aside for an open container and lumped in with the other four.


The fifth person is the guy who was being arrested when the other four attacked the officer.

Too bad no one got revenge for Nicholous Vertex Weeks.


Cowardly methods? How do you propose police do things? They have no idea if anyone is armed at any point and time. And hundreds give their lives every year for their community. If they took a risk every time and were not tactful more would die.

There were at the least 500 people in this area if not more. If you read the SUN its obvious that the officers intentions were to get the subject to clear the road. He asked the subject first but asking doesn't work well with highly intoxicated "festers".

The Officer was outnumbered and there was a "Mob Mentality". If you look up the history and nature of the "Mob Mentality" they have been known to seriously hurt and often kill others. One strike from one of the thousands of beer bottles to his head would have rendered the Officer unconscious. Then he could have had his gun taken and been killed with it.

I am glad for all the officers do, it's not an easy job I don't think. I would have to put myself in their shoes.

Bottom line, people will always complain about police because it gives them something to talk about. People generally don't like being told what to do and nobody likes to be arrested. So whether they are wrong or not, these subjects will be biased.


I was at this house show Saturday night. Having bathed earlier that day, I stood out like a sore thumb, but it was quite a spectacle nonetheless. Not 5 minutes after the band Homemade Hand Grenade broke down their gear, half of GPD was in front of the house. *For the record, I'd say there were closer to 200 people in front of the house. The cops couldn't have been friendlier given the circumstances. It was another great Halloween weekend ruined by the crusties. There's only one weekend out of the year where I can walk out my front door Sunday morning to see a foul-smelling, homeless punk passed out on my porch. - god, I love NW 3rd Ave.


"surrounding him chanting things that clearly indicated no injustice would be going down unaccounted for.. "

what injustice occurred, or was about to occur exactly? someone was told to not stand in the road, and he/she continued to stand in the road. that's how it works.

there are rules. you obey those rules. or you get arrested. why is that so hard to understand? if you don't like the rules, and think that drunk idiot festers should be allowed to stand in roadways, put yourself in a position to change those laws. and any other reasonable laws as you see fit.

should he have been arrested? sure. should the fools who tried to "account for any injustice" by fighting police officers been arrested too? sure.

should a spokesperson for the police go around calling people he doesn't like 'garbage'? no. absolutely not.

that's my job :)


>>Kameg added that police will be out in full force in years to come.
>>"It's not about going to see a band when you do this," he said. "It will not be tolerated."

"Authoritarian Police Force Declares War on The Fest" should be the headline for this story.


>>Kameg added that police will be out in full force in years to come.
>>"It's not about going to see a band when you do this," he said. "It will not be tolerated."

"Authoritarian Police Force Declares War on The Fest" should be the headline for this story.


In regards to the article about the four young men arrested for supposedly "attacking an officer", I am personally disgusted by the bias of this one sided account. It seems to me that people are writing about this article without taking into account any side of the story other than the police's. Do people think the police will be quoted as saying that they maybe used excessive force? I highly doubt it. First off, Keith Kameg was quoted saying these folks were garbage only in town finding a place to stay. At least two of the people arrested actually live and work in town. At least a few of the people arrested were just unlucky enough to be arrested by over-aggresseve police for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't know all of the details about what happened, but obviously there are a couple people who won't come to a conclusion based soley on what they read in an article that only quotes one person- the police representative.


look out in the Sun in the next couple of days for an article actually including witness accounts of what occured-- i believe many of you will be surprised to know the facts. This isnt the first time the GPD has used excessive force with tasers and surely it wont be the last time until people come together and take a stand against police brutality. The victim was also tased after he was handcuffed- a fact from several witness accounts.


Oh, my independent friend. What awful lies you have written.The word is that the officer in your picture was the officer that supposedly had been beaten up. And guess what, he doesn't look very beat up to me. And i thought you guys were cool. For shame!


It's sad that a few bad apples are tarnishing all of the Fest and all of the kids who enjoy it. In four years going I've never seen anything this bad happen. And justiceneeded, you are misinformed about the events. The police officers had every right to use the force they did. From someone who witnessed what happened, the police had been going up and down the street, making sure everything was okay, but hadn't made any attempts to stop the party or shut down the show. The owner of the house, Jon, didn't even get a noise violation. Some assholes who can't hold their alcohol ruined the entire night for the rest of us there and their actions may bring the Fest to a close. It's sad.

The fifth person was indeed arrested for an open container, not for any aggressive attacks.


And.... the fest children are nothing but dirt. Thanks for clearing it up with the Gainesville community, Keith Kameg. Please put more police in the downtown area to keep those cockroaches out of my neighborhood. Oh, their music sucks too. Zero substance, zero quality.


Since when are 21, 23 and 26 year old's "kids"? These too-afraid-to-be-a-grown-up's need to get their thumbs outta their mouths and grow the heck up.

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