A video of a fight between two young girls in Tampa, Fla., has outraged parents and law enforcement officials.
Viewed thousands of times since it was posted to Facebook, the video shows a 7-year-old girl knocking a 6-year-old girl off an air conditioning unit, and then beating her on the ground, while being encouraged by her older sister. The date the video was taken is unclear.
Authorities got involved after a woman in Georgia saw the video online and alerted police, NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa reported.
“I think anybody that would see this would be shocked,” Tampa Police Major Brian Dugan told WFLA. “The behavior of the 7-year-old and the 14-year-old to encourage this, and it’s wrong.”
The two girls are friends, WFLA reported, and they regularly spend the night at each other’s homes, which is why the father of the 7-year-old says he was stunned and angered by the video.
“I couldn’t watch no more, especially when I heard the child say leave me alone, stop, stop, stop,” the father told WFLA, adding that he immediately punished his 7-year-old daughter and is still upset at his 14-year-old daughter. “I am disappointed in her. She made a mistake. I can't hold it against her ... but to me she made a big mistake to the point I am still mad at her."
The 6-year-old’s mother told the station she didn’t plan to press charges, but the state attorney’s office has taken over the case. The teenage girl does not have a criminal past, and police say she may go through a counseling program as a result of the incident, WFLA reported.
The father of the girls said he hope hopes his daughters learned a lesson.
"That won't happen again, you can believe that, you can believe that won't happen again, and I apologize to the parent. It just happens it is a messed up situation,” he told WFLA.
Meanwhile, Tampa police say they don't know who posted the video to Facebook but are trying to figure out how to stop people from viewing the it online, WFLA reported.
“We have reached out to Facebook and asked them to remove the video,” Dugan said.