A Florida teen is facing charges after he allegedly beat a young girl during a school bus ride earlier this month.
According to NBC 10, the incident happened in Homestead at around 4:10 p.m. on February 1, when a group of children began arguing on the bus. Within minutes, a fight broke out and the suspect, 15, reportedly began beating up a 9-year-old girl. Another boy reportedly joined in and attacked the victim.
The incident, which reportedly shows the 15-year-old repeatedly punching the victim, was caught on video by a classmate. The incident continued for 30 seconds without anyone intervening, according to a police report.
The defendant was initially issued a civil citation over the incident, but the victim’s mother pushed for criminal charges again. On Tuesday, he was officially charged with battery.
“All ages are on that bus and it’s overfilled,” the victim’s mother said. “It’s very crazy because there’s all this yelling going on in the bus and the two adults on the bus – the bus (driver) and the bus aide, only sit in the front.”
The victim’s mother said her daughter is a student at Coconut Palm K-8 Academy in Homestead. She contacted the “overwhelmed” school principal about the attack but the principal told her to enroll her three children in another school, New York Post reports.
State Attorney for Miami-Dade County, Fernandez Rundle, said on Tuesday that a civil citation was not a justified punishment, considering the brutality of the attack.
“The February 1, 2023, school bus video of a 15-year-old boy pummeling a 9-year-old girl, clearly shows that this beating was far more serious than a simple student altercation,” State Attorney for Miami-Dade County, Fernandez Rundle, said Tuesday.
“The school’s police officer who investigated the matter had the discretion to issue a civil citation, as the officer did here, or make an arrest for misdemeanor battery. We believe that, based on the evidence and the circumstances, the use of a civil citation was incompatible with the level of violence displayed by the 15-year-old against his much younger and smaller victim.
“As a result, we have filed criminal battery charges with our juvenile courts.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement indicating that it would cooperate with the State Attorney’s Office.
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]