Two arrested in connection with weekend fight in St. Landry Parish

Posted at 3:48 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 16:48:17-04

St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman in connection with a weekend fight.

Richard J. Birotte, 52, was booked with two counts of attempt second degree murder and illegal use of weapons. 

Rona Hardy, 21, was booked with aggravated battery. 

Deputies learned that two women were feuding on Instagram and via text message all weekend. It escalated into them exchanging threats of physical violence, deputies say. 

On Sunday, one of the women saw four women getting out of two vehicles in front of her house. She got into a shouting match with one of the women, and that escalated into a fight, deputies say. During the fight, Hardy is accused of holding one of the women down and using a hand-held stun gun on her several times. 

That woman, who is Briotte’s daughter, called her father. The other four women began leaving, and heard gunshots, deputies say. 

Witnesses say Briotte pointed a gun in the direct of the group of four women, who got into a vehicle to leave. More shots were fired, and one woman felt a pain in her back, deputies say. She was wounded by a bullet, and she was treated and released from an Opelousas hospital. 

Birotte was interviewed by detectives and allegedly said he did not mean to hurt anyone. Birotte allegedly told deputies he pointed the gun towards one of the women and told her not to move when he saw the others leaving.  He then discharged his weapon several times to make the group stop.  Birotte claimed he was attempting to shoot out the tires on their vehicles.

Hardy allegedly admitted to detectives that she used the stun gun during the fight with Birotte’s daughter.