NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Social media apparently led to antisocial behavior under the Brooklyn Bridge recently, and police have launched a call for help in finding the people who battered a teenage girl.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, video from Facebook shows the victim being piled on and pummeled. And community activists said it was not an isolated incident.
It was beautiful weather for an ugly crime late Tuesday afternoon. A massive fight broke out on Pier 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The cellphone video shows a teenage girl surrounded by at least seven girls. They assaulted her so brutally that she was left with a fractured nose and a cut on her face, her family said.
“And to see these girls soccer-kicking my daughter in the face like she was an animal on the floor – I don’t wish no parent to see that,” said the girl’s mother, Genae Simpson.
The older suspects stole the 15-year-old’s MetroCard and cellphone. The girl told her mother she recognized one attacker as an older teen from the neighborhood.
Police said that fight was not the only one, and it seemed to spark others in this park packed with kids. They came to the park to roller skate, to hit the courts – and in some cases, sadly, to hit each other.
“It ruins, like, the fun for like everyone else,” said high school student Asia Silverio.
Similar crimes at Brooklyn Bridge Park in the past were not so large and chaotic. This time, police cleared the park.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation said its own security worked with officers to “manage crowding issues and ensure both a safe clearing of overcrowded park sections and continued operations throughout the rest of the park.”
“We should have security guards or police officers that would break it up immediately,” said high school student Nicole Ferris.
Police regularly patrol Pier 2. But on Tuesday, they were quickly and vastly outnumbered.
Community Activist Tony Herbert says social media fueled that.
“This thing got on Facebook and it just went rampant,” Herbert said.
Simpson said she hopes more witnesses to come forward and talk to police — hopefully with videos that could be used to help catch her daughter’s attackers.”
“I’m going to press charges,” Simpson said. “I’m not going to stop with this at all.”
And with nice weather and kids needing a place to enjoy it, officers said they expect to be out in Brooklyn Bridge Park in force for spring break and beyond.
Police have not made any arrests in the case.