Police have arrested one teenager after a video went viral of the brutal beat down of a 15-year-old girl by more than four girls at a Flatbush McDonald’s in an alleged gang assault.
Dozens of teenagers watched as a crowd of girls kicked, shoved, and punched the victim at the fast food restaurant on Flatbush Avenue near Snyder Avenue at 2:50 pm on March 9. Virtually no one tried to stop the assault, which wen on for nearly three minutes and many teenagers stood on tables and cheered as they recorded the beating.
A cluster of teenagers surrounded the victim and began smacking her and then wrestled her to the ground, where her assailants continued the beating by kicking her. One girl whose shirt was pulled off by the victim during the scuffle repeatedly kicked her in the face and even stomped on her head.
The 16-year-old believed to be the ringleader of the attack was arrested four days later and charged with gang assault in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, assault in the second degree, attempted assault in the second degree, and assault in the third degree.
Police said the victim was taken to the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
A community activist working to combat teen violence in the area said the disturbing attack is a reflection of the lack of productive outlets for area teenagers who have been desensitized to violence by trashy television.
“These kids have a lot of idle time,” said Tony Herbert, who watched the video and said it looked like a gang assault. “They’re committed to watching these stupid reality shows that show these kinds of drama.”
Midway through the two-minute-and-52-second video, one adult — literally wearing a white hat — attempted to stop the fight by stepping between the victim and the bra-clad girl kicking her face, but the assailant repeatedly pushed past him to land several more blows until he stepped back, and then the rest of the girls converged on the crumpled victim a resumed kicking her.
Finally, a group of teenage boys intervened and surrounded the victim, pulled her up and helped her to booth.
Online commenters criticized the crowd of onlookers — especially the adults present — for not stepping in sooner and more forcefully to end the brutality sooner. But Herbert said he believes the adults worried they might be arrested for touching a minor, and the other kids were probably scared of being hit themselves if they intervened.
“Folks are scared,” he said. “That is why folks didn’t get involved because they don’t want to go to jail or get beat up on.”
Southern Brooklyn has seen this type of teenage violence before — also on viral video. For the past two Decembers, massive mall brawls have erupted at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center — and in both instances, individuals posted video of the ferocious fights online. The key to preventing this violence, Herbert said, is time for area adults to teach the troubled teenagers that such fights are not entertainment.
“They’re now desensitized — we as adults need to solve that,” he said.
Police said the incident is still under investigation. Borough President Adams is offering a $1,000 award out of his own pocket for information leading to the arrest of the other girls responsible for the attack.