After last week’s vicious beating of a girl at a Flatbush Avenue McDonald’s, which was captured on a cell phone video that has since gone viral and sparked outrage worldwide, area leaders are vowing to do everything they can to curb violence in our community.
Tony Herbert joined other neighbors outside the McDonald’s at 943 Flatbush Avenue yesterday to announce the creation of the “One Family One Community” initiative, which he said will help connect after-school programs with funding, as well as help teens with college scholarships and other mentoring opportunities.
“That’s going to allow us to talk to leaders and parents and organizations all over the city,” Herbert told ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “…We’re going to come together and we’re going to get ahead of this curve and stop this violence.”
If you’d like to get involved with the “One Family One Community” initiative, Herbert told us you can call 347-977-2300.
Five teenage girls have been arrested and charged in the horrific attack last Monday, a video of which was published by the Daily News last Wednesday. Since then, people throughout our neighborhood, city and beyond, have vehemently denounced the attack, growing particularly irate over the fact that the beating was witnessed by numerous bystanders who did not intervene.
The NYPD said those arrested are: Aniah Ferguson, 16; Mercedes Wilkinson, 16; Tilani Marshall, 17; Zaira Ingran, 16; and a 15-year-old whose name the NYPD cannot release because of her age. Police told us this morning there was one more girl involved in the attack who has not yet been arrested.
Ferguson, Wilkinsin, Marshall, and the other teen were each charged with robbery and gang assault. Ingran was charged with resisting arrest, inciting riot, riot, assault, attempted assault, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct.
The video, which you can see here (beware, there’s obviously a lot of violence), which shows a smaller girl trying to punch a bigger teen, after which the larger girl and a group of other girls proceed to assault the smaller individual inside the McDonald’s that’s located not far from Erasmus Hall High School.
At the end of the video, the victim remains on the ground as someone says, “Yo, she’s dead. It’s a murder.”
According to police, the 15-year-old victim was taken to Kings County Hospital on Monday and was released with non- life-threatening injuries.
Police told the New York Times that the the group of teens attend school at Erasmus Hall High School and had apparently met at the McDonald’s with the intent to fight, and the Daily News reported that the attack was prompted by “an unspecified slight against one of Ferguson’s friends.” Ferguson has been arrested six times since turning 16 in July on such charges as stabbing and punching family members, according to police.
Some of the attackers are allegedly linked to a group called the Young Savages, which police said is a “violent crew that operates out of Crown Heights,” the Daily News reported.
In addition to Herbert and other concerned neighbors, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte too said more attention needs to be paid to young and troubled neighbors and have called for more dialogue about what needs to be done to stem violence in the area.
In an email sent to the community, Bichotte said:
The young women involved in the assault have varied pasts that painfully illustrate how many of our children are being failed by our school system, our criminal justice system, our welfare system, and all civic establishments designed to give kids the chance to pursue a life of their choosing. We know at least one of the women has been arrested a half dozen times in the past year for a variety of assaults. Reports are slowly emerging that suggest that she is not the exception amongst these young women.
Instead of casting blame and taking comfort in the arrest of four of the six involved in the assault, we must ask tough questions. How come no safety net caught these young women before their lives collided on March 12? How do we comprehensively address the shortcomings of our institutions to stave off other children from falling into the same circumstances? What can each of us do to improve our present circumstances?
If you’d like to discuss these issues with our community leaders, you can call Tony Herbert at 347-977-2300, and Bichotte said she is encouraging neighbors to reach out to her office by calling 718-940-0428 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any information to share with the police about the assault, you can do so by calling the NYPD’s crime stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.