PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – A couple in New York have gotten themselves into some trouble after they tried resolving a bullying problem by holding down a 10-year-old girl so that their twin 7-year-old daughters could hit her.
Police say Samuel Randolph, 25, and Latena Fitzgerald, 26, came to the Peekskill’s Kiley Youth Center with their girls to confront a girl who they say was bullying their girls and try to put a stop to it.
Going by the news reports and the charges that were filed against the couple, things didn’t go exactly as planned.
“The 10-year-old alleges she was held by the mother of the other girls, and the parents allowed their two daughters to assault her while she was being held,” Peekskill Police Chief Gene Tumolo said.
The girl also says that Randolph hit her in the back with a chair before the facility’s staff were able to break up the fight. Fitzgerald says she never touched the girl and simply told her to leave her kids alone.
She said that she and Randolph, who works at the center, have repeatedly talked to the alleged bully and her mom about the issue to no avail. So Randolph told the girls to do the same thing I told my son in a similar situation; hit back and that would be the end of it.
But after yet another altercation between her daughter and the older girl, an altercation described as “minor” by officials, Fitzgerald decided to confront the girl herself.
She says things escalated because the girl got out her chair and slapped her daughter right in front of them. If that’s true, I’m not gonna lie. If an older kid slapped my 7-year-old in front of me, there’s a good chance I would be serving time in jail while paying for a kid’s dental work.
Not because I flew into a rage or anything, my fist plowing into the kid’s face would just be an immediate, reflexive action.
No one was injured in the melee, but police felt that they had enough evidence to charged the couple with child endangerment.
Because everyone involved lives in the same public housing complex, the couple have sent their daughters to live with other family while Randolph waits to see if he still has a job.