Usually when you put your young child on the bus and send him or her off to school, you worry about the usual things -- that they’ll stay safe, won’t be bullied, will follow the rules, get good grades, etc. Being violently attacked yourself by a group of middle school-aged girls isn’t usually at the top of the checklist of things on your mind.
That’s what happened to Paola Neri, a mom in New Windsor, New York on Tuesday morning. Three girls are being charged with gang assault for attacking the 34-year-old woman as she was putting her daughter Melanie on the bus. The girls -- two 13-year-olds and one 12-year-old -- pulled her down by her hair and repeatedly punched and kicked her while her daughter watched on.
They confessed to the crime and told the police that they were “mobbing” or “popping” on her, that they did it just for fun, and that their victim was chosen at random. What. The. Eff? What is wrong with people? They caused extensive injuries on someone -- the victim had head and internal injuries as well as cuts and bruises all over her body -- because they felt like it?
The girls hoodlums were not in school as they should be -- two of them were playing hooky, and one was on suspension. No mention on the reason for the suspension, but it doesn’t seem to have done anything to teach her the difference between right and wrong.
The suspects were charged with second-degree gang assault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child. Their names were withheld by the police because they’re children. After processing, they were turned over to their parents, who I hope smacked some sense into them.
While violence is never excusable (use your words, people!), it is at least somewhat understandable when there’s a motive, no matter how selfish or immature it may be. I can’t even begin to fathom the mentality behind wanting to physically harm another person for the sheer pleasure of it.
Here’s to hoping that being arrested and charged with a crime is an eye-opening experience for these kids that other people matter, and treating people cruelly is no way to walk through life.
Have you heard about mobbing and popping? Have you or someone you know witnessed it?
Image via ABC News