VIDEO | Louisville teen attacked on the way home from school: 'I was scared to turn around'
Video of an after school fight shows a Louisville teen getting harassed, followed and threatened with a bat. Now, that video may serve as evidence against her alleged attackers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Harassed, followed and threatened with a bat: It's all caught on video, happening to a teenage girl in Louisville on the way home from school.
For 15-year old Taylor Gravel, walking away simply didn't work.
"They were all behind me, and there was so many of them, and I was scared to turn around and do anything because I didn't want every single person jumping in on me," Gravel said.
On Monday afternoon, video captured the incident as the Moore High School sophomore walked home with a friend. At least five other teens tormented her, one wielding what looked like a plastic bat. The voice on the end of the camera goaded, prompted and pushed for a fight.
"Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead..." screams a male voice from behind the cell phone camera.
Eventually he gets his wish, and a fight ensues.
"The girl with the bat, her best friend yanked my hair and that's when the other girl jumped in," Gravel described. "I fell onto the girl that yanked my hair, and then that's when the guy jumped in and started hitting me too."
In the video the voice behind the camera even responds to the attack from the teenage boy. You can hear " What the F!*# are you doing man," as another boy pulls the attacker off of Gravel.
Gravel said she did not know her female attackers only that, "I'd seen them around school." She said they started following her after she said hi to one of the guys in the group on the track at Highview Park.
Joe Whelan witnessed the fight from across the street. Whelan said "I hollered something, and told them we'd call the cops."
Despite his effort to intervene, his lab Apache may have made the biggest difference.
"He run over there barking aggressively and then stopped and ended up following a couple of the boys down the road," Whelan said.
"It just kind of upset me," Whelan said. "I've got three daughters. It made me think what if it was one of my teenage girls involved in that."
The video starts in the parking lot at Highview Park, and it shows how close Gravel and her friend stood to help. Just beyond the baseball field is a local police department approximately 100 yards away.
Gravel never made the call to 911. In fact, her grandmother, Leslie Burton, said at first she didn't tell anyone.
"It's shocking, stunning, unbelievable and painful," said Burton. "Painful to see that she went through that...it's like it was something done for sport."
The family said it only learned what happened when someone posted the video clip online. Gravel's grandmother shared it, asking for help identifying the teens, hoping to take the power back from a social media shaming. It has been viewed more than 50,000 times.
"If they want to get their 15 minutes of fame, we're going to give it to them, but on our terms," Burton said.
A JCPS spokesperson said the students in the video cut class earlier in the day and are being disciplined at school. The post brought enough tips to ID the teens and the family is working with police and juvenile prosecutors to file charges.
Gravel wants her story to serve as a lesson to stand up to bullying and not sit silent. "I feel like there was no reason for all of that," Gravel said.
She's not returning to Moore High School. JCPS agreed to let her take finals in private and enroll somewhere else next year.
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