Two Queens women have been arrested in connection with a brawl over a parking spot outside a Long Island mall that was captured on video, police said Wednesday.
Authorities say Latoya Friday, 24, of the Rockaways was looking to park at the crowded Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream Sunday and saw a man, the husband of the other woman arrested, standing in an empty spot, apparently trying to hold the space.
Friday and the man, who was holding a young child, started arguing. At some point, the man's wife, 35-year-old Tawana Morel of Rosedale, showed up and Friday allegedly punched her in the head.
The situation escalated into an all-out brawl, and Friday ended up at the bottom of the pile. A profanity-laden video of the fight posted on YouTube shows Morel straddling Friday and repeatedly punching her in the face. Morel's husband, still holding the child, pushes a second woman away and says, “My wife is going to beat her."
As the punches fly, the husband says, “Baby, bust her head wide … open for running her mouth.” The video then shows Morel pull the other woman up by her feet and punch her in the head several more times.
Nearly two minutes into the video, two other men walk up and attempt to break up the fight as Friday yells, “I cannot breathe!” The man holding the child tells the bystanders, “But she hit her first,” and another man says, “So what, so what?.”
As the two women are separated, the man with the child can be heard saying, “Now you got knots on your face for running your… mouth. Now go home. Brooklyn style.”
Morel, her husband holding the child and two other children then walk away.
Police say Friday suffered minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene.
Friday reported the altercation to police a few days after the fight, police said. Authorities reviewed surveillance footage from multiple angles and arrested both Morel and Friday.
They were charged with misdemeanor assault and released on desk appearance tickets. It wasn't clear if either woman had an attorney.
Morel, who is the mother of seven children, told NBC 4 New York that Friday started the fight when she and the second woman came up and threatened to "tag team" her.
"She jumped into her fighting stance," Morel said. "My shirt got ripped off. My hair was on the ground. My shoes were on the ground."
She defended getting on top of Friday and hitting her, saying that she learned the moves while taking self defense courses.
"I was horrified," Morel said.
Morel said she recently had a job interview with the NYPD and hopes to join the department. She says she was willing to forget the fight, but then Friday went to the media.
"And now I'm facing and dealing with this type of mess," Morel said.