A 13-year-old Texas girl wanted for a disturbing assault that caused injury to a 3-year-old girl has turned herself in to authorities and is in a juvenile detention center.
Police in the Dallas suburb of Rowlett had been searching for the teenager, who was seen in a viral video filmed at a nearby elementary school June 19. The video caused outrage across social media because the suspect attacked a 14-year-old victim as she was holding her young niece.
The suspect, who has not been named because she is a minor, is currently at a juvenile detention center in Dallas County. She faces a misdemeanor charge for the assault on her classmate but a third-degree felony for causing injury to the small child.
Video of the attack, which has been viewed millions of times, began with the attacker and a friend taunting the victim and her friend. The suspect is then seen lunging at the victim and yanking her by the hair. The victim’s niece falls to the ground and is heard crying in the background. The attacker then punches and kicks the victim, who is heard screaming.
The toddler suffered cuts and lacerations but did not require medical attention, Rowlett police told The Daily Caller Friday.
The callousness of bystanders also contributed to public outrage. Teenage boys filming the incident are heard mocking the victim and the toddler. One of the videographers is heard saying in a mocking tone: “Take the baby…the baby’s the reason she’s not getting beat up.” (RELATED: Police ID Teen Who Injured Toddler In Viral Video Attack)
The video ends as another teenage boy is seen dancing jubilantly near the victim.
Rowlett police initially said a warrant had been issued for the suspect but she and her guardian had gone into hiding. Shortly after releasing that statement, the department said the girl and her caretaker were cooperating with police. On Sunday night the department said the girl had surrendered herself to authorities.
Rowlett police detective Cruz Hernandez has said the attack was unprovoked but pre-meditated. He said the two girls knew each other from school and had had a disagreement of some sort.
“It’s two teenage girls who have bad feelings [toward] each other,” he said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “One took it way too far and definitely violated the law and jeopardized the safety of the 3-year-old.”
One question that had been raised by viewers of the video was whether the attack was racially motivated. The suspect is black while many believed the victim was white. Reached by TheDC on Sunday, Hernandez said that he does not believe race had anything to do with the attack. The victim’s father is black and her mother is white, he said.