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Friday, May 24, 2024

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."

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