A 13-year-old Rowlett girl was in custody late Sunday after a video that went viral showed her pulling to the ground a schoolmate who was holding a preschooler and then attacking the teen.
The 13-year-old, whose name was not released, surrendered to Rowlett police Sunday night. She is being held in the Dallas County Henry Wade Juvenile Detention Center and faces charges of injury to a child and assault, police said.
The video, which was posted to LiveLeak on Thursday, shows the June 19 attack outside Herfurth Elementary School. A 14-year-old was sitting at a table and holding her 3-year-old cousin when she was confronted by the 13-year-old and another girl, Rowlett Detective Cruz Hernandez said.
From behind the camera, a male can be heard saying, “Take the baby … the baby’s the reason she’s not getting beat up.”
One of two girls yells at the 14-year-old to “get up” and seconds later, the 13-year-old pulls the 14-year-old off the bench onto the ground, sending the 3-year-old tumbling.
The 13-year-old drags the other girl into the grass and begins hitting her and kicks her at least once as a teenage boy dances around them.
Hernandez said the 14-year-old and the toddler both had minor injuries, including scrapes and bruises, and did not require medical treatment. The 14-year-old’s mother called police to report the fight after it happened.
Hernandez said the fight stemmed from a disagreement the two girls, who attended middle school together, had about a month ago. He said the fight was not racially motivated.
He said the victim knew the other girl only by a nickname and did not believe anything about their disagreement would have led to a violent attack. She did not want to fight, he said.
“It’s two teenage girls who have bad feelings [toward] each other,” he said. “One took it way too far and definitely violated the law and jeopardized the safety of the 3-year-old.”
The 13-year-old faces a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury and a third-degree felony injury to a child charge. Hernandez said her family has been cooperative and the girl was turned in to police as expected. The family had been out of town, he said.
Rowlett police also plan to speak to prosecutors at the Dallas County district attorney’s office about whether injury to a child charges can be pressed against the other teenage girl who was standing next to the attacker and the person who was saying to get the baby out of the way.
“It’s not against the law to be a spectator to something you don’t encourage, participate, or promote, but we have some concerns about those two,” Hernandez said.
He said because the camera was recording before the fight, there’s knowledge that the attack was going to happen.
“I find it concerning that young people today would videotape an attack of someone rather than taking that phone and calling 911,” he said.
The video has been viewed more than 700,000 times since Thursday.