The NYPD is investigating after video surfaced online showing a group of girls viciously kicking and punching another girl inside a Brooklyn McDonald’s while dozens of fellow teens watch and jeer.
The video, posted to Facebook, captures the Monday afternoon brawl at a McDonald’s on Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush. The footage shows four girls repeatedly punching and kicking another teen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt while throngs of bystanders shout in the background.
The larger group continues to attack the teen in the blue sweatshirt, even pulling out her hair extensions, until the girl huddles underneath a table with her hands over her head. At one point, one of the girls in the group stomps on the victim's head.
At several points during the fight, bystanders can be heard saying, "She’s dead," and, "You murdered her."
The video ends with several students picking the girl up off the ground and putting her on a bench.
One boy who witnessed the attack told NBC 4 New York Wednesday he "felt bad for the girl," but was concerned about intervening.
"I didn't know what was going on and I was kind of scared, I'm not gonna lie," said the boy, who asked not to be identified.
Police said they do not recall getting a 911 about the brawl. Officers responding to an unrelated call in the area shortly after it broke up encountered another, separate fight outside the McDonald's and then learned about the brawl that had raged inside earlier.
Police, who had not seen the video of the brawl at that point, say the girl in the blue hooded sweatshirt did not want to make a report or go to the hospital. She ended up going to the hospital later and was treated for bumps and bruises, authorities said.
On Wednesday, after reviewing the cellphone brawl video, police say they took a report for gang assault and were able to identify the girl in the blue hooded sweatshirt and the girl seen stomping her head. Both are 16 years old, authorities said. Authorities say they believe all those involved in the brawl are students at Erasmus High School.
The investigation has been hampered by witnesses' unwillingness to come forward, police say; they have only the video to go on and neither the apparent victim nor the mother will cooperate with authorities.
Community activist Tony Herbert said the victim should file a police report, and asked all of the people involved to turn themselves in to authorities.
"The message has to be sent very clearly, that this kind of violence will not be tolerated whether in a mall or in restaurants and those involved should turn themselves in to authorities immediately so as to face the consequences of their violent actions,” Herbert said.
The Department of Education was notified of the fight shortly after the altercation; a staff member went to the McDonald's and accompanied the victim to the hospital, then waited until her parents arrived.
"The actions in this video are abhorrent and our primary concern right now is for the well-being of the student," the agency said in a statement. It said additional counselors would be available at the school.
Paul Goodman, the Flatbush Avenue McDonald's franchisee, said his employees contacted the police as soon as the brawl erupted, though it wasn't clear if they tried 911 or a non-emergency line.
"The safety of my employees and customers is my top priority," Goodman said in a statement. "As part of the Flatbush community, I will continue to work with the NYPD and community leaders to ensure the safety of customers."
McDonald's Corporation has not responded to NBC 4 New York's inquiries.
It’s not the first large fight involving teens and caught on video in recent days. Several male students attacked each other with bats and brass knuckles over the weekend on Long Island amid ongoing racial tensions between students at Connetqout High School in Bohemia.
Anyone with information about the McDonald's fight is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
-- Pei-Sze Cheng contributed to this report