The mother of the one of the teens charged in the caught-on-
camera beatdown of a 15-year-old Brooklyn girl defended her son
as a good kid Saturday — but admitted she was furious with him.
“When I saw the video I literally wanted to kill him with my own
hands,” said Donna Howell, 42, while waiting for her son’s
arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court. “I was very, very pissed
Howell’s 14-year-old is one of five teens between the ages of 14
and 17 who were charged with robbery and gang assault after
turning themselves in at the 77th Precinct stationhouse Friday
“He didn’t want to go at first and I said, ‘No you’re going to
go, you’re going to turn yourself in,’" she recalled. Howell
then left the house to run an errand, and found her son gone
when she came back.
“He had just walked and turned himself in [to police],” she said.
Four of five suspects who turned themselves in were arraigned in
Brooklyn Criminal Court on Saturday night — all of them
accompanied by their mothers. The Daily News is withholding
their names because of their ages.
Judge Deepa Ambekar denied prosecutors’ request for $10,000 bail
on each suspect, and instead released the boys on their own
However, Ambekar imposed curfews on each suspect, and ordered
them to stay away from the victim.
None of the suspects knew the victim, lawyers said during the
arraignment hearings. Fourteen more suspects are sought in the
Surveillance video of the assault sparked condemnation from
“I have never seen in my lifetime this kind of incident where
young men perpetrate this kind of violence on an innocent
woman," City Councilman Robert Cornegy (D-Brooklyn) said
Saturday. “I remember growing up under mob mentality in
Brooklyn. There were still rules and the rules said that women
The video shows the 15-year-old girl being chased to the corner
of Utica Ave. and Sterling Place on Thursday afternoon before
being knocked to the ground. A horde of teens then descend upon
her, repeatedly kicking and punching the victim as she curls up
to avoid the blows, the video shows.
The attackers stole the girl’s sneakers, cell phone and a debit
card before scattering.
The victim’s neighbors describe her as a quiet girl who lives
with her mother and sister.
“She doesn’t get in trouble, she doesn’t deserve that," said 13-
year-old neighbor Jacob Black. "She’s a basketball player,
that’s all she does.”
“She goes to school and comes home. She’s quiet," said a next-
door neighbor who declined to share her name. “Those were
animals. I can’t see how those young boys did that to her.”
Howell said her son, the middle child of three boys, has had
little interaction with police and she was shocked to hear of
his alleged involvement.
“I don’t know what else I can say to them [the victim’s parents]
except I’m so sorry, I feel very bad for her,” she said. "I’m a
woman, and if he had a sister he would never want anyone to
treat her like that.”