CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island mother who police said helped her teenage daughter in a fist fight with another girl that was all caught on video faced a judge Friday.
Dorka Lopez, 41, of Brentwood, said nothing to the judge during her arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip, but through her lawyer proclaimed her innocence, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
Lopez, who is employed as an aide in a nursing home, was arrested Thursday after police said she drove her 15-year-old daughter to Regis Park on MacArthur Avenue in Brentwood for a fight with a girl of the same age.
Police allege Lopez watched the girls fight and at one point even joined in, grabbing the victim’s head and pushing her to the ground, as about 20 to 30 teenagers watched.
CBS 2 News obtained video of the fight as it broke out.
In the video, Lopez’s daughter can be seen jumping out of her mom’s car and immediately the teen and her rival pounce on one another, throwing jabs, rolling off the curb and onto the street, then back into the park amid cursing and taunting from the crowd of onlookers, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
The mother is then purportedly shown grabbing the 15-year-old victim, shoving her to the ground as the free-for-all continues, McLogan reported.
Defense attorney Lawrence Carra said his client took her daughter to the park so the two girls could talk, not fight.
“She drove her daughter to the park to engage in conversation, to resolve certain issues that had arisen between the families with the hopes that it could be amicably resolved,” defense attorney Lawrence Carra said. “My client went there to avoid conflict not to generate conflict.”
“She had a good purpose in mind, unfortunately, things went badly and the situation escalated,” Carra added.
The district attorney said he has a written confession from Lopez.
Friends and relatives came to court in support of the Lopez family and through the lawyer said Lopez is a loving mother and the episode is exaggerated.
Fellow students and parents, however, said Lopez should not have gotten involved.
“She should never have let her daughter fight to begin with. She was on her daughter’s side — she was helping her out — but to put a hand on a little girl, that is not right at all,” said ninth-grade student Bianca Acosta.
“I think it’s a shame, just insane,” said Brentwood homeowner Brian Mahoney.
“If I ever see my baby get beat up, it would bother me extremely. And I would definitely try to part them. It would get me mad that that girl is hurting my child,” said ninth-grade student Syndy Vanegas.
Some defended at least the mother’s intentions, if not her actions, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
“I guess she felt bad for her daughter; She didn’t want her daughter to look scared in front of all those people,” said Briana Gonzalez, who witnessed the fight.
“I feel like, confront this person whether it be physical, whether you can talk to them, but if I see it’s not working you gotta do what you gotta do,” said neighbor Justin Brachater.
Before posting $3,000 bail, Lopez spent the night in jail. She is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.
The judge told the mother of four she is not allowed to get near the teenage victim and issued a “stay away” order of protection, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
So far, neither of the teenage girls have been charged.
The Suffolk County district attorney is expected to use the cell phone video in prosecuting his case against Lopez.
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