Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family brawl over Thanksgiving feast lands Pasco parents in jail

HUDSON — Elizabeth Smith says she cooked the ham the night before and asked her father-in-law to wake her up on Thanksgiving morning so she could cook the rest. But when she woke up at 7 a.m., she said, Donald "Junior" Smith was already stuffing the turkey.

With celery. Elizabeth's husband, Tristan Smith, is allergic to celery. "It makes him sick," she said. She started crying. Junior yelled. Elizabeth's husband shouted at his dad for yelling at his wife.

"You're not going to step in my wife's face," Tristan hollered, according to Elizabeth.

And then it was on.

The brawl moved into the bedroom, where Elizabeth and Tristan's 3-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter still slept. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Junior, 49, pushed his son. Elizabeth, 21, said Junior and her husband began fighting. A report says Tristan, 21, punched his dad. Elizabeth said she got in the middle of them to stop it.

Then Tristan's mom entered the scene. Joan Ethel Brewster, 54, grabbed Elizabeth by the hair and scratched her, a report says. "My face was bleeding," Elizabeth said. "She ripped my hair out."

Junior told authorities he was upset because no one was helping him cook the Thanksgiving meal. Elizabeth said she wanted to help — but he didn't wake her up. "It's my family," she said. "He knew I wanted to cook for them."

Elizabeth said Joan was the one who called the deputies.

"She called the cops," Elizabeth said. "On herself."

Junior and Joan were arrested. By 10 a.m. Thanksgiving, they were booked into the Land O'Lakes jail. Both were charged with domestic battery and released from jail Friday. They did not return a message for comment.

In 1997, Joan and Tristan were featured in the St. Petersburg Times as a success story, detailing Tristan's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Joan's struggles to control her son. The article said Tristan, then in the third grade, punched holes in the walls and bullied a family puppy. Joan worked with Tristan's teachers and therapists.

"You can't expect your child to change if you won't change," she said in the story.

Elizabeth and Tristan both have been arrested previously on domestic battery charges. Elizabeth said she and her husband and children have been living in Joan's mobile home at 9611 Rex St. in Hudson for a few months. Junior, who is disabled, also lives there. Joan works for Winn-Dixie in New Port Richey. Elizabeth said she and Tristan run a tree trimming company.

After Junior and Joan were taken away, Elizabeth finished cooking. She still hosted a Thanksgiving meal for other relatives a few hours later.

"It still turned out all right," Elizabeth said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Family brawl over Thanksgiving feast lands Pasco parents in jail 11/27/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 27, 2009 8:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility

    World

    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia

    World

    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]