NEW: High schoolers may face charges after viral-video fight near Boca 


The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it will ask the state to consider criminal charges against the high school girls who fought at a suburban Boca Raton park last week captured in a video that went viral Friday on the internet. 

 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said it is “preparing paperwork to charge the suspects with simple battery.” The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office will decide whether to charge the teenagers as adults. 

 

The sheriff’s office said the fight was over “a boy” and that there was "no evidence of a hate crime." One media report directed at law enforcement last week suggested the fight took place because one of the participants is a Muslim. 

 

All participants agreed to meet and fight Thursday at South County Regional Park, west of State Road 7 and north of Glades Road, the sheriff’s office said. 

 

A video of the fight circulated on various social media platforms, including Twitter, where a columnist for the online publication The Intercept suggested it stemmed from Islamophobia. The columnist’s tweet had more than 9,600 retweets 9,700 likes and 1,900 comments as of Wednesday morning. 

 

The video shows one girl attack another and bring her to the ground. Then, several girls gang up on the girl, who by then is in a fetal position, and beat her. A crowd gathers around, many of its members with their cellphones out to record the attack. 

 

At some point, another girl walks over and attempts to pull two of the girls off each other. Though they stop for a moment, two of the girls go back at her. Not much can be heard in the video other than screams and one person telling someone to “pull her hair.” 

 

The video was originally posted on Facebook by a man who said he is the father of the girl who was attacked. He said that his daughter was a 14-year-old ninth grade student at West Boca Raton High and said she was being bullied at school because she was a Muslim. He said she decided to talk to the girls Thursday, but was beaten up instead. His video received over 2.7 million views, 33,000 shares, 29,000 reactions and 21,000 comments. 

 

Efforts by The Post to obtain comment from the girl’s family were unsuccessful both Friday and Wednesday, beyond a statement from a man who identified himself as the girl’s uncle and said the family was “in deep shock.”



This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 



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