Arrest made after brawl caught on camera at Brooklyn McDonald's

BROOKLYN, NY -- A 16-year-old girl taken into custody in connection with a violent fight caught on camera inside a Flatbush McDonald's was arraigned Friday, and two others are being questioned.

Aniah Ferguson is charged as an adult with criminal contempt and criminal mischief, and additional charges are expected to be filed. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

No charges have yet been filed against the other girls.

Police said Ferguson was the ringleader of the Brooklyn brawl, and it's not the first time the teen has been in trouble with the law.

Ferguson has 10 prior arrests, including one for an assault as recently as last month. Authorities said she beat up her 64-year-old grandmother, stabbed her brother with a kitchen knife and injured a police officer during an arrest for violating an order of protection.

The cell phone video, posted on YouTube, shows a group of young women attacking a 15-year-old girl while dozens watched. It quickly went viral.

Detectives are reportedly looking for five more people. And although they still do not have cooperation from the victim, the NYPD determined they have the power to make the arrests, acting as the advocate for the community.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is offering a $1,000 reward to track down the other girls involved in the incident.

"Many others were sick to see this vicious and brutal attack of a young person," he said. "The assault and the attack on this 15-year old girl should be a wake up call internationally on what are we doing with out young people."

Police say Ferguson made statements to detectives during questioning that indicated she had been looking for the victim since January because of an ongoing dispute. She reportedly got the tip Monday afternoon that Ferguson was at a nearby McDonald's, so she mobilized her crew. Since there is more than one McDonald's in the area, she split the members of her group to search multiple locations.

Ferguson and other members of her crew found the victim at the Flatbush Avenue restaurant, where Ferguson allegedly attacked first. They knocked the victim to the ground, where Ferguson repeatedly stomped her.

After the attack, she allegedly stole the victim's coat, phone and make up bag and threw them in the trash.

Both Ferguson and the victim reportedly have gang ties.

"That type of behavior is not acceptable in our society," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. "Certainly is not going to be acceptable here in New York."

The brutality of the beating and the fact that no one stepped in to stop it are the most disturbing factors to many. This arrest is the first of what is expected to be many.

"She goes to Erasmus Hall High School," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said, "We don't know the origin of the fight right now. We are trying to figure that out as we go along. We know we have at least five individuals we are looking at."

The McDonald's franchisee released a statement, saying, "The safety of my employees and customers is my top priority. In keeping with my restaurant policy, my employees contacted the police at the onset of this situation."

Police on patrol in the area also responded.

"It's horrendous that a young girl would be attacked in such a fashion by so many others," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "And they need to feel consequences."

Throngs of students from Erasasmus Hall tried to congregate at the McDonald's again Thursday, but they were encouraged to move on by police.

The owner of the video has promised continued police cooperation.

Community activist Tony Herbert remains deeply concerned.

"It was still a gang assault," he said. "And those kids that committed this crime have to know there are penalties."
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