Five Moore High School teens charged with assault after bullying video posted to social media
In May, 16-year-old Taylor Gravel was bullied, threatened and harassed with a bat as she was leaving Moore High School.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Five teenagers have been charged after a bullying video was posted on social media.
In May, 16-year-old Taylor Gravel was bullied, threatened and harassed with a bat as she was leaving Moore High School. Her grandmother, Leslie Burton, says the five teens involved in the video were in juvenile court on Tuesday.
She says they all attend Moore High School.
Burton says they are each charged with assault, disorderly conduct, menacing and harassment.
Gravel now attends on-line school.
The teens are expected back in court next month.
"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.
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 [EXPLETIVE] 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 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.
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