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Police seeking viewers of fight

Bystanders could be disciplined. Relative of victim says conflict began a year ago when those involved went to Ensign.

January 16, 2008|By Michael Miller

Two girls from Newport Harbor High School were arrested after a video appeared on MySpace and YouTube that showed them punching and kicking a younger girl in a public park, police said.

The students were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after a parent contacted the school about the video. Sgt. Evan Sailor of the Newport Beach Police Department said one of the girls had been sent to Orange County Juvenile Hall, but he did not know the status of the other girl.

Earlier police reports of the fight described the younger girl as developmentally disabled, but Sailor said today the girl is a normal student at Ensign Intermediate School. Ensign is blocks from Newport Harbor High.

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The footage, Sailor said, showed a large group either observing or taking part in the attack.

“There were several people there,” he said. “I don’t know who was involved or how many people were involved in hitting her.”

Schoolmates of the victim said that their friend returned to school after the attack with a black eye, bruises and patches of her hair torn out.

Allie Pantoskey, 13, and Erin Kincaid, 13, said they saw the video on YouTube.

“They took her by the hair and pulled her like five feet on the dirt and kicked her,” Allie said. “I felt so bad for her.”

One of the girls, Annie Pyle, 13, who said she is related to the victim, said she remembers the conflict starting between the girls last year when both attended Ensign Intermediate.

“They used to call her ‘ogre,’ so she called them fat. She was just trying to be defensive,” Annie said. “She told us that the girls said they wanted to talk and promised not to beat her up.”

“That main girl that hurt [her] — she wasn’t even part of the fight anyway,” Allie said.

Newport Harbor High Principal Michael Vossen said he had not seen the footage, but believed that only two girls, both freshmen, had taken part in the beating. The brawl occurred last Thursday after school at Pinkley Park in Costa Mesa, he said.

“It was two [attackers], but of course, there were bystanders in the group that witnessed the altercation, and the thing we’re doing right now is investigating who was present at the time,” Vossen said.

The principal sent a message home to parents Tuesday afternoon warning them of the dangers of YouTube and MySpace, both sites popular with teenagers.

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