Video of wild fight released to 69 News
Mom, daughter defend statements caught on tape encouraging fight
Video of a knock-down, drag-out fist fight between two young girls has been released exclusively to 69 News.
Family members of one of the girls have been charged for encouraging the fight, officials said.
Raquel Rosario, 43, and Precious Irizarry, 22, have hired a Reading attorney to fight charges that they egged on the fight, which took place last Thursday near the Citadel, Reading's intermediate high school.
District Attorney John Adams said Rosario, the mother of one of the girls in the fight, did not do enough to stop the melee.
"Encouraging her own child to participate in a fight, that's sending the wrong message, and parents need to be held responsible," said Adams.
Rosario said she handled the situation properly.
"If I would have tried to break it up, then I probably would have got harassed with touching another child that wasn't mine," said Rosario. "As a mother, I don't think it was wrong for me to tell my daughter to defend herself when someone else was punching her as well."
"They put us out to be monsters when we're not," said Precious Irizarry, Rosario's daughter, and sister of one of the students involved in the fight.
Irizarry said she, herself, has been the victim of bullying and almost committed suicide and didn't want her younger sister to go through the same nightmare.
The women are related to 13-year-old Citadel student Reylinn Irizarry.
Loved ones said Reylinn is a prize-winning student and has won several awards in a range of different sports.
Reylinn's mother said, for months, she has asked the school to help protect Reylinn from bullying.
"She was fed up. We tried looking for help. Nobody would help us. We were fed up," said Precious Irizarry.
The family's attorney said he is ready for a fight and is confident he can get the criminal charges against Rosario and Irizarry dropped.
"Was in the spur of the moment opinion of the police and the teachers who are in the impossible situation of running the Citadel," said William Bernhardt, family attorney.
Family members said Reylinn has been held at a detention center for minors for the past few days, but they hope to have her released soon.
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