Sheriff Grady Judd pushing for law to crack down on teens who video tape, encourage fights
Disturbing fight video caught on camera last week
6:47 PM, Sep 3, 2013
8:52 PM, Sep 3, 2013
LAKELAND, Fla. - A disturbing fight between two high school girls was caught on camera last week and quickly shared on social media.
The video shows one girl repeatedly whaling on the other, as a group of teens cheer them on.
It happened late last week after kids from George Jenkins High School were let out for the day. It took place off school grounds, but within minutes videos of the fist fight showed up on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
It's become a growing issue for the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
"You not only see that they're recording the fight, but you hear them screaming and hollering and encouraging the fight," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "I think it encourages bad behavior."
The fighting mentality among teens hasn't changed as much as technology and social media. These days, most kids have cell phones and are anxious to capture anything and everything to share with friends.
"We wouldn't allow two chickens to fight like that and record it, why would we allow two people to fight like that and record it?" Grady said.
From a prosecution perspective, videos provide great evidence -- in this case, deputies easily identified and arrested the underage girl doing the beating, for misdemeanor battery.
We are told doctors checked out the other girl, but she is doing okay.
Judd wishes he could go after all the other kids holding cameras.
"You know what we really need is a specific law in the state of Florida that says if you record and encourage a fight, you're criminally liable," he said.
Until then, deputies plan to keep up by taking down as many fight videos as possible.