Keisha Fradin, Wayneisha Jones, Kennyque Lawrence were arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after they allegedly beat up a classmate on video and the video subsequently found its way onto Facebook and Youtube, news sources indicate. Fradin, 20, Jones, 18, and Lawrence, 20, were all reportedly booked into Broward County Jail on charges of battery. Two of the three remains incarcerated in lieu of paying $1,000 bail bond apiece. It is not clear who still remains incarcerated, nor is it clear whether any of the trio has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
A fourth party was also reportedly apprehended in connection to the incident, although her name and age were not released because of her status as a minor. It is not clear whether she will be tried as an adult or what other repercussions she may face for her alleged participation.
Press reports indicate that the episode of battery, one of several Fort Lauderdale battery instances lately, occurred last Wednesday near Life Skills Center. The school is an Oakland Park alternative charter school that, according to its’ website, is dedicated to helping students across all demographics achieve academic success. The attack, which purportedly solely involved students at the school, allegedly occurred a few blocks away from the institution and was directed against Celina Bennett, 18. She claimed later that she did not personally know the attackers.
‘When I watch the video I just laugh because it shows [the initial attacker] couldn’t fight me one-on-one,” Bennett is quoted as telling news reporters following the incident. “I don’t even know their names… now every day that I have to go to school, I have to watch my back instead of continuing to do my work… because girls are obviously jumping me for no reason.”
The suspects were reportedly apprehended largely thanks to a video that was uploaded to Youtube and Facebook. It is not entirely clear who uploaded the video, which allegedly depicts Bennett being pushed to the ground and punched and kicked repeatedly by four females. The video has since been removed from bout Facebook and YouTube, but media outlets were able to capture several screenshots which appear to depict a girl lying on the ground being kicked and punched. “I was not surprised it was posted, because… when kids get in fights [these days] they post it immediately on Facebook,” commented Bennett. She was transported to the hospital after the altercation for non-life threatening injuries, including a bruised eye.
Celia Bennett’s father is reportedly former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Bennett. Ben Bennett assisted in the investigation, viewing the video and accompanying sheriff’s deputies to the school, where he said the four suspects attempted to flee. “In all my years in law enforcement, I never had to deal with a situation where the crime was against my child… it was difficult to see her laying on the ground and having that many people attacking her,” Ben Bennett said of watching the video of the incident. However, he expressed a desire to see the four suspects get help. “We can’t make this a revolving door or throw away the key,” the older Bennett was quoted as telling reporters. “I would like to see the community come together and help these kids.”