Police investigating a brutal brawl that occurred in a Brooklyn McDonald’s have arrested five teenagers in connection with the beating that left a 15-year-old girl with a concussion, contusions, and bruises.
The attack, caught on camera and uploaded to Facebook, eventually went viral on the internet, catching the attention of law enforcement officers and a concerned community who called for the arrest of the perpetrators. As of Saturday, police have five of the six teenagers identified on the video in custody.
One of the suspects was taken into custody last week at an airport in Atlanta as she tried to fly to Jamaica. She was removed from the plane before it departed after NYPD officials alerted local authorities.
According to the NBC New York:
Two of the suspects, Telani Marshall, 17, and a 15-year-old girl whose name is not being released because she is being charged as a minor, appeared in court Saturday. They were arrested in Brooklyn Friday on robbery and gang assault charges after they turned themselves in to police, according to the NYPD. Marshall was charged as an adult.
Marshall was released on $75,000 bail. An attorney for the 15-year-old suspect said her client had previously been attacked by the victim of the gang beating and feared being attacked again. Bail was set at $50,000 for her client.
Another teenager, 16-year-old Mercedes Wilkinson, turned herself in on Saturday and was charged as an adult with gang assault and robbery. The teenager who police have identified as the ringleader, Aniah Ferguson, remains behind bars on $500,000 bail. Prosecutors say in addition to the beating, Ferguson stole the victim’s bag, money, and phone.
A Troubled Past
According to records, Ferguson has been arrested at least a half-dozen times since September. One of those arrests stems from an attack made on a pregnant woman in an emergency room and another attack on her own grandmother, NBC reports.
Prosecutors say Ferguson, who is also a mother to a 1-year-old child, is part of the Young Savages gang.
The NY Daily News reports:
The 16-year-old accused of beating her grandmother and stabbing her brother before the teeth-chattering stomping she dealt to 15-year-old Ariana Taylor during Monday’s McDonald’s melee is a member of the Young Savages. The gang is an offshoot of the Folk Nation, one of the largest gangs in the country, officials said. The Folk Nation, which began in Chicago, operates out of several cities, federal officials said. It’s considered an alliance — a veritable United Nations of street gangs — that includes smaller Bloods and Crips crews, officials said.
The group is known for their pattern of violent attacks.
Investigation into the attack proved difficult after witnesses and the victim’s mother refused to cooperate, but eventually the teenager came forward to file a police report.
Talk surrounding who is responsible for the culture of violence among youths has swept the nation in the aftermath of the brutal beating. But none have been as perverse as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s finger-pointing, which he made public while speaking on AM970 radio Thursday morning.
When asked about the McDonald’s fight and the recent police shootings in Ferguson, Giuliani said, “It all starts at the top. It’s the tone that’s set by the President.”
He continued, addressing the “enormous amount of crime” perpetrated by African-Americans, suggesting that President Obama should “say the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby” used to say. If you recall, Cosby’s “respectability politic” comments often suggest African-Americans are to blame for their own poverty.
For more on Giuliani’s comments, click here.