Two Teenage Girls Arrested After Video of Them Allegedly Attacking Man, 62, Goes Viral
Two teenage girls were arrested in Syracuse, New York, after they were allegedly caught on a "disgusting" viral video attacking a man in his yard
Two teenage girls were charged with assault last week after they were allegedly caught on a “disgusting” video — which later went viral on Facebook — attacking a 62-year-old man in his front yard, PEOPLE confirms.
The girls, 14 and 15, were charged with assault in the third-degree in connection with the altercation, Syracuse, New York, police said in a news release.
Police say the teens were identified from a Facebook video showing them in a larger group in an apparent confrontation with the victim on Wednesday. The man later told police he “politely asked [several juveniles] not to sit on his property” before being attacked, according to the release.
In the video, which has been viewed more than a million times, a girl is seen striking the victim in the head before she runs away and he follows her.
A second girl follows the victim, spinning him around and apparently striking him again in the head. As the group disperses, the man gives chase and falls to the ground, dropping his cane. The video ends as the victim continues to pursue the group.
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It is not clear from the footage what led up to the altercation, and it is unclear how the video was first circulated. The version that later went viral, posted Wednesday afternoon, is a repost of the original footage — shared by Ja’Meeka Price, who said she had turned it over to the police.
“I hope [authorities] will get justice for this man,” Price wrote with the video, adding, “this is sad, ignorant & disgusting!”
Price, a Syracuse native, later told PEOPLE she found the video “painful to watch” when she stumbled across it on Facebook, and she reposted it after it was taken down so that police could identify the teenagers involved.
“They cannot get away with this,” Price said.
She said she’s gotten “tremendous” reaction to her post, both good and bad (including from those who’ve accused her of betraying the teenagers because of their race).
“I did it because I felt it was right. It was the right thing to do, and I would do it again,” she said, adding, “I felt in my heart the right thing to do was to make sure he [the victim] got justice.”
The unidentified victim spoke with CNYCentral.com but declined to detail what caused the assault, citing the police investigation. He did say that family members from around the world had since seen the footage, including a relative in Ireland.
CNYCentral.com also spoke to the mother of one of the suspects, who offered an apology to the victim.
Syracuse police said they were not immediately able to locate the suspects after responding to the scene Wednesday, but that they were later arrested by detectives working in the local school system.
The suspects have not been identified due to their age and have been released into the custody of their parents, with court appearance tickets issued for both, according to the news release.
It was not immediately clear if they have entered pleas.
Reached by PEOPLE, the Facebook user who originally posted footage of the altercation did not provide a comment.