Mother says justice system going easy on daughter's attackers in Prince George's County park beating
RIVERDALE PARK, Md. - A Maryland mother said the Department of Juvenile Services is letting the teenagers seen on video beating her 13-year-old daughter off easy.
The victim's mother, Angela Long, shared details of the violent attack with FOX 5 and provided the police report taken by Maryland-National Capital Park Police, who responded to the call in Fletcher's Field Community Park.
According to the report, on April 4, up to 10 teenage girls followed the victim before several are seen on a bystander's video appearing to punch and kick the victim repeatedly.
FOX 5 is not naming either the victim or the suspects because they are minors.
Long said the attack left her daughter with a mild concussion, bruises and a bloody ear. Long took her to urgent care, but the beating has also left emotional scars.
"She's a different kid," said Long. "She's not happy. She doesn't go out of the house. She doesn't want friends. She just stays to herself."
The report says two suspects that police identified attended William Wirt Middle School, where the victim went until this school year.
Long said the attack and threats made later by the suspects and their friends forced her to move to Montgomery County to keep her daughter safe.
According to Long, documents she provided to FOX 5 dated last week show the disposition of the charges against the two suspects, which calls for them to go through 90 days of "voluntary informal supervision," pay restitution and counseling.
Long disagrees with the decision and views it as a slap on the wrist.
"They are giving them permission what they did was okay," she said. "But next time, it could be worse. If that person hadn't been there to stop the fight, who knows what could have happened to her."
Video of the incident shows a bystander beeping the horn, which forces the girls to end the attack.
A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services said the department cannot comment specifically on the case because of the minors involved, but the department did release a statement to FOX 5:
"The Department of Juvenile Services takes public safety seriously and holds youth accountable for their actions. Any youth brought to intake is assessed for their risks and needs on a case by case basis.
"At the intake stage, DJS can propose a solution, but the victims always have the right to reject that solution and refer the matter to the State's Attorney's Office. DJS works with victims and their families to come up with the best solution to keep the community safe and hold youth accountable."
The spokesperson said the mother can appeal the Department of Juvenile Services' decision, which could prompt a review by the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office.