Two teenage girls near Tampa and their family members are facing charges after video of the girls fighting showed up on YouTube, with the parents reportedly watching.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Friday that the two adults were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The two girls have been charged with affray, which is being involved in a public brawl, or disturbing the peace.
Authorities tracked down everyone suspected to be involved in the Wimauma, Fla., incident after someone reported seeing the footage of two juveniles fighting on YouTube Thursday.
"They had been planning on fighting. Their parents learned that these issues had been occurring so they helped engage this fight. They actually brought them to the scene," said Sheriff's Spokesman Larry McKinnon told MyFoxTampaBay.
The video clearly shows two adults watching the scuffle from a few feet away and, appearing to make no effort or intervention to stop the fight. The video shows one girl pulling the other's hair and hitting her, and young children also watching.
"Detectives were able to determine that this was a mother and an adult sister encouraging both of their smaller children to fight," McKinnon said.
Detectives also said there has been a long-standing feud between the families.
Nida Longoria, 26, and Veronica Zertuche, 28, were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Zertuche's mother, Angelica, said Veronica had a baby 13 days before the fight and couldn't intervene.
"She tried to protect her, but like I said, she just had a baby, she couldn't get in there. Both girls came over to my daughter and my granddaughter and it wasn't them who started the fight," she told MyFoxTampaBay.
The fight happened in front of a closed sheriff's substation, near a large apartment complex. Only a handful of people saw the fight as it happened, but now almost everyone in this neighborhood has seen it, thanks to cell phone video and YouTube.
"Everybody in school is mostly laughing about it, but parents say you shouldn't do that because they think it's a bad thing for children," Angeles Medoza, a classmate of the girls in the fight, told MyFoxTampaBay.
The Sheriff's Office said it is seeing more and more fight videos online. It's working with school resource officers to track down who is on camera in the clips.
"They did the wrong thing. If that happened to me I would just want to do the first thing to stop my girl if it was one of my daughters, I'd stop the fight," Cecilia Hortoano, a neighbor, told MyFoxTampaBay.
The incident is similar to a New York mother who was arrested last month for allegedly driving her 12-year-old daughter to a schoolyard brawl and then egging her on. The fight occurred over a Facebook dispute and was also captured on video.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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