A brutal beating inside a Brooklyn McDonald’s has now led to a fifth arrest, with police saying they are close to arresting a sixth person involved in the shocking incident.
On Saturday police said they took another teenage girl into custody in connection with the videotaped attack on a 15-year-old girl. Video of the incident — in which the girl was knocked unconscious and then repeatedly punched and kicked in the head — went viral this week, leading to five arrests already.
Two of the suspects in the Brooklyn McDonald’s beating have already appeared in court, facing charges of robbery and gang assault.
At first, it appeared as if police were making little room in the investigation. Reports indicated that the 15-year-old victim did not want to press charges, and that she even took to Facebook to brag about being “famous” because of the brutal video.
Police initially said that the incident was a planned fight, but that the victim became outnumbered.
“(The victim) was there to fight,” a police source said, according to the NY Daily News. “It looks like they went there to straighten out their differences and she wound up getting the worst of it.”
Though the victim appeared unwilling to come forward, many in the community were pushing for arrests.
“We have names,” said community activist Tony Herbert. “We have pictures. We have video of all these individuals. So save the taxpayers money and bring yourself forward … The message has to be sent very clearly, that this kind of violence will not be tolerated whether in a mall or in restaurants and those involved should turn themselves in to authorities immediately so as to face the consequences of their violent actions.”
The first arrest for police was 16-year-old Aniah Ferguson, the alleged ringleader of the attack. The teen has a history of violent incidents, including allegations that she attacked a pregnant woman in an emergency room after accusing the woman of looking at her the wrong way.
At least some of the suspects are fighting the charges. A lawyer for 17-year-old Telani Marshall said she did not participate in the beating.
“My client has been crying ever since the detectives called her mom,” attorney Audrey Thomas said after the hearing. “I’m confident that this case is going to be dismissed eventually as the facts unfold.”
Police said they are still looking for a sixth suspect in the Brooklyn McDonald’s beating.
[Image via ABC News]