Like much of the country, Temple University in North Philadelphia has seen better days.
In a frightening series of events Friday night, a mob of violent teens harassed, beat, and sometimes stole from reportedly random victims – including police officers. The crazed group of around 150 teens was organized through a “meet up” on Instagram and seemed to mimic “flash mobs” that recently hit Center City, Philly.com reported.
TU Alert: Increased police activity due to large groups of juveniles along Broad Street on/near Main Campus. Police responding. Avoid area.
— Temple University (@TempleUniv) October 22, 2016
A motive for the attacks as not been cited, but a statement from the father of one victim named Christina Lauletta, indicates that race could play a factor: “I find out that her and her 2 male friends were badly beaten by a group of 30-40 black teenagers on their way home from the Temple football game,” Joe Lauletta wrote.
Neither the race of the perpetrators nor the attackers have been cited as a motive by local news reports, leaving the widespread narrative that these were random attacks.
Christina was beaten so badly she needed to be hospitalized. Her father, Joe continued to vent his anger about the incident to Facebook.
“These sick animals held her down and kicked and stomped on her repeatedly,” Joe wrote, noting workers at a local pizza shop intervened. “Every part of her body is badly bruised. It makes me cry just thinking about it.”
Christina was with two male friends who were also beaten according to reports. But possibly the most bold attack was aimed at a mounted police officer.
According to Philly.com:
One 15-year-old, who police say was seen throwing rocks at passing cars, knocked an officer pursuing him on bicycle to the ground. He was later apprehended and charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, among other offenses.
In probably the most brazen act of violence, police say a 16-year-old came up to a mounted officer and punched the police horse twice in the face. Police later apprehended him and charged him with assaulting a police service animal.
One unidentified victim who was reportedly beaten on her head and back gave college news site “The Tab” her account of the story.
“I somehow got to the other side of Oxford Street by the time they got me to the ground. I remember shoes coming for my face and after that, I heard other kids from the group saying ‘Yo chill, yo chill, it’s just a girl’ and they pulled my attackers off me,” she said.
Only four teens ranging from ages 14 to 17 have been arrested in connection with the violent assaults, while 50 were taken into custody, NBC reported.
And dangerous excuse making for the horrific behavior has begun.
“It sounds like they were just trying to get everybody together,” Charlie Leone, director of Campus Safety Services wrote of the violent mob in a letter to Temple News .
“But when kids get together, especially a couple hundred, it can turn into something like this, unfortunately.”
Wrong! A group of teens out on a Friday night doesn’t just “turn into something like THIS.”
Joe Lauletta’s entire post can be read below:
Surveillance video caught just part of the melee.