• Family in court after allegedly attacking landlord during eviction

    By: Tony Thomas


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Four members of a Gwinnett County family accused of attacking their landlord after an eviction remain in jail.
    Miguel Martinez and three of his adult children stood before a magistrate judge Wednesday afternoon to hear the battery charges against them.
    Shortly after their appearance, Martinez's wife went to police to file counter charges against their landlord, accusing her of attacking them.
    Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies said landlord Gladys Garcia was beaten and had to fire a warning shot Monday just after deputies left her home on Deidra Maria Court in Lawrenceville.  She had just evicted the Martinez family from the house.
    “He got struck first and then everyone started getting on top and pulling my hair," Garcia told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman Tuesday night.
    But after court Wednesday, the Martinez family had a different account.
    "She pointed it me and she like, ‘If you don't back away, I'm going to shoot her in front of all of you,’" one daughter told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas.
    Thomas found police reports that show this is a dispute that goes back months. Garcia, the landlord, said she's had nothing but trouble from the family. But in police reports, the family accused Garcia and her mother of everything from fraud to stalking.  Miguel Martinez's wife showed Thomas documents she said proved the family had been paying money to Garcia to purchase the home. She said the family paid Garcia $17,000 up front but then Garcia went back on their handshake deal.
    "She was like, ‘I'm glad I kicked you out of the house, you deserve it, I'm glad I took your money, you guys are going to stay poor,’" the daughter said.
    Another Martinez son, Abner, wasn't at his parents’ home when the altercation occurred. He was at the residence Wednesday picking up some of the family's belongings that were thrown out on the lawn during the eviction.
    "Firing guns when children are right here you know, what kind of stuff is that? You can't do that stuff," said Abner Martinez.
     Gwinnett County deputies said they will not charge Garcia with any crime. Deputies believe she was acting in self-defense.
    "The deputies are there for instances exactly like this," said Deputy Shannon Volkodav.
    In 2013, Volkodav said the department served 3,000 evictions. She said while most of them are emotional for the parties involved, they normally end peacefully.

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