Police are closing in on the female suspects allegedly involved in the brutal beating of Ariana Taylor, 15, at a McDonald’s fast-food outlet in the Brooklyn borough of New York Monday. Two more teenagers were arrested, while another surrendered Saturday. Only one of the six suspects is still at large.
Recorded on a mobile phone, footage of the fracas showed Taylor being hit and kicked for about three minutes as a crowd of teenagers cheered in the background. The video went viral when posted on Facebook and YouTube Wednesday, provoking outrage by community members and law enforcement. Police said the victim was released from the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, the New York Times reported.
Aniah Ferguson, 16, purportedly the ringleader of the attackers, was arrested Thursday and charged with robbery in the second degree and gang assault, the Times said. And Friday, an unnamed girl described in various news reports as being either 14 or 15, was arrested after being pulled off a plane in Atlanta that was headed for Jamaica.
Arrested Saturday were Tilani Marshall, 17, and a girl, 15, whose name is being withheld by police because of her age, WABC-TV reported. Meanwhile, an unidentified girl, 16, turned herself in to police in Brooklyn, the New York Daily News said.
Both Ferguson and Marshall will be tried as adults, according to media reports.
Ferguson and Taylor are supposed to have gang ties, and the alleged assailant told police the beating had been planned since January as revenge because the victim had “done something to a very close friend,” the New York Daily News reported. Ferguson purportedly has a history of violence: In the past, she’s been charged with beating her grandmother and stabbing her brother, while police have identified her as a member of a gang called the Young Savages, the Daily News said. She is now behind bars on Rikers Island, with bail set at $500,000.
According to the New York Times, when city Police Commissioner William J. Bratton was asked to respond to the beating video, he said, “That type of behavior is not acceptable in any society, and certainly is not going to be acceptable here in New York.”