Mother accused of attacking student twice claims self-defense

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - The South Florida mother arrested for attacking a teenager twice is speaking out, alleging that the teen was the aggressor in both altercations.

Police said 30-year-old Ernstlatta LaFrance attacked one of her daughter’s classmates during afternoon dismissal at Miami Carol City Senior High, Monday. LaFrance was charged with battery, burglary and child abuse for doing what, she said, any parent would.

“I’m a mother, and if for any reason I assaulted a child, I apologize,” she said.

As LaFrance sat down to speak with 7News, an ankle monitor kept track of her location.

“As a mother, our job is to protect our children, and who is going to protect our children if we don’t?” she asked.

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She said it all started when the 17-year-old victim’s sister attacked her daughter at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair.

“Kids are not kids anymore,” the mother said. “And there’s a lot of people that can say, ‘Well, a 16-year-old killed my child, or a 15-year-old killed my child.'”

LaFrance claims she went to the high school parking lot, Monday, to find out what was going on, not to attack anyone.

“Yes, I was in the school parking lot, to try and see what was going on,” she said, “and they jumped me!”

However, the arrest report described a different scene: LaFrance violently confronted the victim, “punched her face repeatedly while pulling her by the hair,” then drove off with the 17-year-old’s cellphone.

“That’s not me,” LaFrance said of the report. “That’s not my character.”

LaFrance said she was just fighting back. “I was assaulted! Let’s just be clear,” she added.

Police said it escalated when the teenager showed up at LaFrance’s Opa-locka home to get the phone back.

LaFrance said the 17-year-old brought her friends along, so her girlfriend, Erlisa Evans, fired a couple warning shots in the air.

“Teenage girls, attacking me with sticks outside my home,” she said. “My thing is, if you are a teenager and you are afraid of me, why would you come to my home?”

LaFrance said her house was robbed not long after.

Police arrested both LaFrance and Evans, and the judge didn’t hold back in bond court.

“It’s time to act your age, not your shoe size,” the judge told them.

“As I sit here looking at this I’m just like, ‘Wow, everything could have been avoided,'” she said.

While LaFrance waits for a court appearance next month, she said she doesn’t regret what happened.

“At what age do you stop protecting your children?” she said. “At what age?”

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