Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
TERREBONNE PARISH, La. - R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere, two of the stars of the Louisiana-based reality show “Swamp People,” were arrested Friday on battery charges, stemming from a fight at a convenience store nearly a month ago, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Roland “R.J.” Molinere Jr., 51, and his son Roland III, 25, known as “Jay Paul,” both of Bourg, La., face aggravated battery charges. They turned themselves in to sheriff’s deputies on Friday, after a warrant was issued, according to a news release from Terrebonne Sheriff Jerry Larpenter.
The father and son are stars of the History Channel show "Swamp People," which chronicles the lives of south Louisiana alligator hunters.
On Aug. 13, a 24-year-old man called the sheriff’s office to report being attacked five days earlier by the Molineres. He said the incident happened at the Roland’s Mini Mart, 101 Bourg-LaRose Highway, according to the sheriff’s office.
The victim said the incident happened after 5 p.m. on Aug. 8, deputies said.
“He said that he was beat up by the two and struck in the head with a beer bottle by Molinere Jr.,” according to a sheriff’s news release.
“The victim said that he suffered with a black eye, swollen jaw and had a knot to his forehead," deputies said.
The incident allegedly followed a verbal altercation that occurred on the Bourg-Larose Highway earlier that day, with the suspects following the victim to Roland's Mini Mart, deputies said.
Detectives made attempts to contact the suspects and were unsuccessful in doing so, they said.
After obtaining arrest warrants, the Molineres surrendered and were booked. They were released on bond.
Timothy Ellender, Jr. and Matthew Ory, attorneys for the Molineres, released a statement Sunday.
"It is our collective policy to not comment on pending matters in an effort to avoid interfering with the integrity of the legal process. Like most other matters, there are two sides to every story. We look forward to the full story being brought forth," they wrote.
"We are confident that once the truth is revealed, the actions of both R.J. and Jay Paul will be vindicated. Further, we call on local law enforcement to investigate the actions of the other parties involved as we believe there is ample evidence to support the charge of aggravated assault and simple battery committed upon our clients."
The Molineres have been featured on the popular "Swamp People" show for the past two television seasons.
"A Native American hunter with a fighter’s instinct, R.J. Molinere burst onto the scene two years ago and made a name for himself by catching some of the season’s biggest gators," reads the show's web site.
"Off the swamp, he’s a two-time world champion arm wrestler who channels the stress of hunting into his competitive drive," reads his bio. "Jay Paul Molinere is R.J.’s son, best friend and right-hand sharpshooter. This season, Jay Paul begins to assert his independence, putting extra pressure on his relationship with his father."