(NEW YORK) — A 15-year-old girl was beaten by several other girls inside a Brooklyn, New York, McDonald’s, and a video of the event captured bystanders watching the fight and interjecting remarks but not intervening for several minutes.
One suspect, who the New York Police Department would not identify, is in custody, though no charges have yet been filed, according to the NYPD.
At least five girls can be seen in the video pushing, punching and slapping the victim, who was wearing a blue hoodie. At one point, the victim can be seen being pushed down to the floor and covering her head with her hands. Yet, the attackers are shown continuously kicking and even dragging the 15-year-old girl.
The video of the beating goes on for more than two-and-a-half minutes. The last few seconds show a few people trying to help the girl get up and sit down, and someone can be heard yelling, “Go get ice! Go get ice!”
An NYPD spokesman who would not give his name said police were unaware of the incident, which occurred Monday afternoon, until they saw the cellphone video surface online.
“We don’t know if anyone called 911,” the NYPD spokesman said. “It appeared online, we saw what happened and we were at the scene after the fight.”
However, the New York Daily News reported that police said McDonald’s employees did call 911.
The victim has not cooperated with authorities, who are actively investigating, the NYPD spokesman added. Police are trying to speak with the victim’s family, he said.
The 15-year-old beating victim was a student at nearby Erasmus High School, which became aware of the incident after it took place, according to a school spokesman.
“A staff member went to the location and accompanied the student to a hospital and waited with her until her parents got there,” the school spokesman said. “Both police and EMS were at the scene when the school staff member arrived.”
The New York City Department of Education said it will have extra counselors available at the Erasmus High School campus for anyone who needs support.
“The actions in this video are abhorrent, and our primary concern right now is for the well-being of the student,” New York Department of Education Deputy Press Secretary Jason Fink told ABC News in a statement.
The 15-year-old student was discharged from a hospital later Monday night but returned Wednesday night because she blacked out, possibly from concussion after effects, community activist Anthony Herbert told ABC News.
Herbert said his organization, Advocates Without Borders, was trying to get the victim and her family to come forward and press charges.
“If we don’t say something, these kids will run away and get away with this [with] impunity,” Herbert said. “I’m working right now to engage a lot of community leaders to create a community outreach task force to address the issues that lead our young people to get caught up in violent activity.”
According to Herbert, the victim said she had an ongoing issue with one of her attackers and she was expecting a fight at the McDonald’s but did not know there were going to be multiple girls ganging up against her.
Paul Goodman, the franchisee of the McDonald’s where the fight allegedly occurred released the following statement: “The safety of my employees and customers is my top priority. In keeping with my restaurant policy, my employees contacted the police at the onset of this situation. As part of the Flatbush community, I will continue to work with the NYPD and community leaders to ensure the safety of customers. Since this is now a under police investigation it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”
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