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The Villages
Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Villager retains George Zimmerman lawyer after alleged attack on cop at Brownwood

Mark O'Mara
Mark O’Mara

A Villager accused of kicking a police officer at Brownwood has retained the attorney who won an acquittal for George Zimmerman.

Mark O’Mara, who practices law in Orlando, gained national attention while serving as the defense attorney for Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Sanford.

O’Mara, who is frequently seen in media interviews offering insight into legal cases, has been hired by 47-year-old Pamela Jennete Lyness, who was arrested Oct. 22 on felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. The resident of the Crestwood Villas in the Village of Buttonwood has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Wildwood police were called to investigate the fight which occurred at about 7:30 p.m. that night at Prima Italian Steakhouse at Brownwood Paddock Square.

The first officer on the scene spotted a red Toyota RAV4 which was attempting to leave the parking lot, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. During a traffic stop, Lyness was identified as a passenger in the vehicle. Lyness and the driver were reluctant to admit where they had been, the report indicated. Lyness became “argumentative.”

The Prima Italian Steakhouse at Brownwood
The Prima Italian Steakhouse at Brownwood.

Officers made multiple requests for Lyness to exit the vehicle, but she refused. An officer reached in to unbuckle her seatbelt, but she tensed up and would not cooperate. She was “escorted to the ground” and handcuffed. Police officers continued to try to question her about the incident at the restaurant, but she was “verbally argumentative.” She was seated on a curb, but fell over. When officers tried to put her back into a seated position, she kicked an officer with her right foot. During her interaction with police, the Biloxi, Miss. native was “yelling obscenities and other abusive language.”

Lyness had been arrested in 2020 after an incident at City Fire at Lake Sumter Landing.  She said a man had been “spreading rumors” about her. Lyness spotted the man at an outside table at City Fire and invited him to “fight” her, the arrest report said. When a deputy attempted to speak with Lyness, she showed “irrational behavior.” She was arrested on a charge of battery. However, that charge was dismissed after Lyness completed an anger management course, which was part of a pre-trial intervention contract in which she entered into with the court.


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