Florida Teens Attack Girl on Youtube
Posted by shadmia on April 12, 2008
Victoria “Tori” Lindsey,16, a senior at Mulberry High School, said she learned a lesson about betrayal and friendship after receiving a severe beating at the hands of her “friends”. The incident was recorded and placed on the video-sharing site Youtube. Six girls, one boy and a young man were arrested on charges of felony battery and false imprisonment.
Arrested are: Mercades Nichols, 17, Brittini Hardcastle, 17, and Britney Mayes, 17, facing charges of felonious battery, false imprisonment and kidnapping in connection with the attack. Cara Murphy, 16, Kayla Hassell, 15, April Cooper, 14, Zachary Ashley, 17, and Stephen Schumaker, 18, facing charges of felonious battery and false imprisonment.
The girl’s mother, Talisa Lindsay, said it was painful to watch the video, which a Polk County sheriff’s detective brought to their home days after the attack so Tori could identify the girls involved. Click on the image below to see the video.
“When you see your daughter who is not striking back to defend herself and someone keeps coming at you like that, it’s a horrible thing,” the girl’s mother said. “I just don’t understand it.”
Tori’s father said he didn’t recognize his daughter in the emergency room. “I’ve never seen anyone’s face disfigured like that,”he said. The teens arrested and accused of participating in the videotaped beating engaged in “animalistic behavior,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press conference. “It’s pack mentality,” he said. “They lured her there to beat her.” According to the Sheriff’s Office, Tori Lindsey was having problems at home and was staying with a friend, Nichols, in Lakeland. On March 30 about 8:30 p.m., Tori arrived at Nichols’ house on West Calendar Court and was greeted by Nichols and another girl. She went into the bedroom where she was staying, and a third girl, April Cooper, 14, began to insult and threaten her, then hit her in the face several times and slammed her head into a wall, knocking her unconscious.
When Tori awoke, she was on the living-room couch surrounded by six girls who took turns hitting and kicking her while the beating was videotaped. She told investigators that the six blocked the door, held her down and beat her for a half-hour. Sometime during the attack, her left ear and eye were injured. While this was going on, two boys, both teenagers acted as lookouts. Tori told investigators that Schumaker and Ashley knocked on the front door and warned the girls they were making so much noise that neighbors were wondering what was going on.“I could be facing a year and a day in jail for something I didn’t do,” Schumaker said. After the beating, three of the girls drove her to another friend’s house, where they told her, “If you go to the police, the next beating will be worse.” Tori Lindsay has bruises, a concussion and damage to her left ear and eye, although her family said she is expected to recover.
The family would like a public apology from the girls, and they also want a law to protect kids on video and social-networking Web sites. Tori plans to continue her schooling at home rather than return to Mulberry High.
Mary Nichols, the grandmother of one of the girls who was arrested, says her family is suffering, too. The beating is alleged to have happened at Nichols’ house while she was at work. Since the sheriff’s office released the video this week, Nichols said, she has been receiving threatening, obscenity-laced telephone calls, and someone scratched her car.
“This is definitely traumatic to everyone, not just to Tori’s family,” Nichols said.
A Polk County judge issued a gag order in the case, after parents of some of the teens and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd appeared on national TV shows discussing the case. Meanwhile, a central Florida couple, Darlene and Jerry Ashley, claim they are being hounded by angry callers who mistakenly think they’re connected to the notorious videotaped beating of the girl. Their phone number was mistakenly posted by a user of the YouTube video-sharing Web site, along with the numbers of the other teens charged in the beating. Callers think the Lakeland couple are the parents of one of the teen boys involved who has the same last name. They say they have gotten around 300 angry, abusive calls from all over the country.
Mercades Nichols, 17, remains in the Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Bartow along with the six other minors who were arrested in the case. Schumaker, 18, was released from the Polk County Jail on bail.