MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade Police and school police are investigating an attack on a eighth grade middle school student at a McDonald’s near Cutler Bay.
The incident, captured on someone’s cell phone, shows a teenager walking up to another girl who was sitting at a table in the restaurant one night last week.
“I’m asking you one more time, do you want to fight?” demands the girl standing over the student at the table. There does not appear to be a response. “Do you want to fight?” the girl asks again. No response.
The teen, apparently spoiling for a rumble, then rears back with her right arm and smacks the sitting girl in the side of her head, sending her jolting to the left. Moments later, the apparent aggressor again rears back and delivers a roundhouse blow to the head of the girl at the table, who does not fight back. The video abruptly ends.
CBS4 obtained a copy of the video that was posted on social media sites, and shared it with police.
A Miami-Dade police source told CBS4 the video appears to depict a crime – a battery – being committed.
“Detectives have been dispatched to the McDonalds and to the girls’ school to investigate,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman, Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. Police became aware of the video, only after receiving a copy from CBS4 News. The girls, both in the eighth grade according to numerous classmates, are students at Cutler Ridge Middle School.
Principal Paul Pfeiffer told CBS4’s Gary Nelson he became aware of the violent video when Nelson showed it to him. The video had been shared with the school district administration hours earlier. He recognized the apparent aggressor in the video, but couldn’t be sure he knew the girl who was being struck. Pfeiffer said Cutler Ridge Middle School is actively involved in programs to help students avoid bullying and manage anger issues. “We work very hard on that,” Pfeiffer said.
Parents picking up their children at the school Thursday afternoon viewed the video of the assault at the McDonald’s and were appalled.
“Oh, oh my God,” exclaimed Janet Nankin, waiting at the curb for her child. “I think it’s horrifying. It’s just wrong, the violence. I just don’t understand it.”
“Wow,” said Felix Martinez, another parent. “Where are the parents,” he asked, as he looked at the video of the blows being struck by the one girl against the other.
Miami-Dade police say it’s important to note that what happened before the video was shot, who shot it and why is not yet known. Those are questions that will be part of an investigation now actively underway. A police source said the video on its face indicates a criminal act was committed.
“There will likely be an arrest,” the source said.
CBS4 is not naming the girls in the video, and blurred their faces in a broadcast report. Both girls were well known to many students at Cutler Ridge Middle, who were aware of the video that first appeared on Instagram. No students we talked with could explain the violent incident.
Was it something that originated in the neighborhood, at the McDonalds, at school? All questions police, parents and educators are presumably pondering.
Shortly after the story aired on CBS4 News, the alleged aggressor posted a profanity laced video in response to the story.
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