Jimmy Luby, son of Alexandria School Board member Melissa Luby, turned himself into police on Wednesday afternoon, charged with destruction of property for allegedly throwing eggs at the home of Jim Boissonault. He was released on a summons.
Boissonault has been an outspoken critic of the School Board since Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry’s arrest for drunk driving in April. Melissa Luby was in the car with Perry at the time and has not been sanctioned for her participation in that incident.
On July 1, Boissonault spoke at the last meeting of the School Board, expressing his concern about the unethical behavior of Board members with regard to Perry’s contract being renewed after her admission that she had driven while intoxicated and the Board’s subsequent vote to increase her salary. At 3:28 a.m. on July 2, Boissonault received a call at his home in Del Ray.
“A male voice asked if I was Jim Boissonault,” Boissonault said. “Then, he asked if I was affiliated with Lyles-Crouch. When I asked who the caller was, I was told that it was Rick Fox, the incoming city manager.”
Boissonault and other parents of Lyles-Crouch students have continued to express disagreement with Perry's transfer of that school's principal, Lucretia Jackson, to Maury Elementary School. Rick Fox plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boissonault got out of bed and went to his living room. “I suspected that someone was calling to make sure that I was home because he was coming to the house to do something,” Boissonault said.
Shortly after the call, Boissonault saw three males approach his house and begin throwing something.
“Things hit the house and were thrown at my seven-year-old daughter’s bedroom window,” Boissonault said. “I called 911 and the police came. The three men ran away toward Monroe Avenue.”
AT LEAST A dozen eggs hit the house. “My wife was very afraid because we didn’t know what was going to happen next,” Boissonault said. “Because of the reference to Lyles-Crouch, I suspected that the egging was in retaliation for my outspoken comments to the School Board.”
The next day Boissonault remained at home to clean the eggs from the house. He saw someone approach his house and look toward it. He approached the man who he recognized as one of the egg throwers from the night before.
“There are street lights all around my house so I thought that I could identify at least two of the young men,” Boissonault said. “One was African-American and one was white. I didn’t get a really good look at the third person.”
On July 9, Boissonault received a call from Melissa Luby’s husband, James Luby. “He told me that he and his wife and son wanted to come to my house to apologize,” Boissonault. “The young man who had come back to the house the day after the egging identified himself as Jimmy Luby and apologized. He made a prepared speech and told me that I needed to understand that when someone comes after your mom, emotions run high.”
Boissonault has started a petition to remove Melissa Luby from office for her actions related to Perry’s arrest.
“I am very concerned with this behavior because Jimmy clearly related it to my participation in the democratic process,” Boissonault said. “The apology wasn’t sufficient because I see an eerie parallel here between this incident and the example the Board set by not holding the superintendent or Mrs. Luby accountable for their behavior in April. That’s why I decided to pursue a criminal remedy.”
SCHOOL BOARD member Kenneth Foran agreed that this behavior is exactly why he asked the Board to reconsider Perry’s contract. “No child in the Alexandria city public school system should ever have to be in fear of adults assaulting his or her family in their home for the expression of concern before the Alexandria School Board,” Foran said,. “Free expression should not carry the price of having one’s family placed in fear of physical harm.
“Less than a year ago, when I became a member of the School Board, a child was killed in Market Square. It was painful then. It is painful now. The snuffing out of that life was allegedly initiated by the egging of a house. Law enforcement must take such incidents seriously and prosecute such crime, especially crime motivated by malevolence, initiated at night, with the obvious intention of silencing free speech and the orderly and legal expression of dissent,” he said.
The charge carries a fine of up to $500. Police are continuing to investigate the incident and are working to identify the other two suspects.