Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:24 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a brutal beating on board a Carroll County school bus was an unprovoked attack. Three 13-year-old girls are being charged with assault.
In cell phone video, you can hear shrieks and cries for help from another 13-year-old girl who is slumped over in her school bus seat being pummeled for 20 seconds by at least two other girls.
Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite tells WDRB News it doesn't seem as if the victim provoked the incident in any way, and adds, "Well, the investigation has determined that this is over a boy."
Police say the attackers asked the victim if she liked a particular boy and when she said she did, they proceeded to pounce. The incident happened Friday afternoon on the way home from Carroll County Middle School. The video was posted to Facebook not long after.
Chief Willhoite says, "And our investigation has determined that it was premeditated, as evidenced by the video." Carrollton Police say they're charging the two 13-year-old girls throwing blows with fourth degree assault and the one who captured the video with complicity.
Those are misdemeanor charges that will be handled in juvenile court.
WDRB reached the victims father, David Foster, by phone on Monday: "That ripped me apart. My kids are straight A students. And to watch my daughter sit there doing everything she can to scream out for help....I felt hopeless, I felt powerless I could not help her. I could not believe what I was seeing."
Foster says his daughter is back in class at Carroll County Middle School, and after the attack she suffered a strained neck and contusions to her head.
School leaders are being tight-lipped on the bus incident, only releasing a statement saying, " The district is fully investigating the entire matter and will act appropriately at the school level and within the law."
The victim and her family are using the video to speak out against bullying, saying, "This was orchestrated all throughout the school day, and I'm sure there was students that wanted to do something but were too scared and didn't know how to go about doing it. And that's where us parents and teachers and anyone involved with students needs to better educate these kids."
All the girls involved are in the 8th grade. Foster says two of the attackers were already attending an alternative school. He says all three have been suspended.