The lack of language translators often presents difficult situations for non-English speaking citizens who are unable to communicate with others who only speak English. Such is the case of a 78-year-old Jacksonville, Florida woman who was arrested Friday for supposedly striking her son a few times with a yard stick during an argument, according to police records.
Beatriz Diaz, of 1211 E. LaSalle Boulevard, was charged with domestic battery and was held in the Jacksonville Jail.. Diaz and her son, Roberto Diaz, engaged in an argument when he told her, “You aren’t my momma,” as indicated by police reports. Shortly afterward, Beatriz Diaz hit him on his right arm 3 times with a yard stick.
While police officers failed to see any injuries, Roberto Diaz, indicated that his leg hurt but refused medical treatment. Furthermore, Roberto Diaz refused to provide a written statement about the event, reports states. At that time, officers on the scene already had enough information to arrest the mother.
Unfortunately, family members couldn’t understand why their mother had been taken into custody and booked. As it turned out, Beatriz Diaz was defending herself from her son who had just come home drunk and agitated. Since Beatriz Diaz can only communicate in Spanish, the police officers counted on her spouse who has very poor English language skills.
The representative for the police department, Samantha Quinn mentioned that it is customary for police officers to request the assistance of a neighbor or household member to translate when a qualified translator isn’t available. While Quinn indicated that while it was an regrettable incident, Florida law allows officers few alternatives facing domestic assault grievances. Based on the information that the officers had available, the officers had collected enough details to take her into custody. Quinn also stated, “We sympathize with Mrs. Diaz.” “She certainly had a very good reason to do what she did.”