FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. —
On Monday, Fruitland Park Police Department released a cellphone video from its investigation into an incident involving a group of high schoolers that allegedly lured in one of their former classmates to attack him.
The alleged attack happened on May 15 around 7:20 p.m. Police said the incident started at the Sunoco gas station along Highway 441. The victim rode his bike to the convenience store where he saw a teen girl he described as a friend. Police said she asked the victim to walk her home.
When they got to her apartment complex down the road, officers said a group of his old classmates appeared from behind the complex’s mailbox kiosk and came running. One of them, another teen girl, recorded the incident on Snapchat.
“Investigators believe that that was the whole point behind the setup, was so that it could be streamed on social media,” Fruitland Park Police Department Capt. Henry Rains said.
Police said the victim tried to run away, but the other teens jumped into a car and hit him.
According to an arrest affidavit, “The vehicle pulled up and hit the victim in the outside of his right knee with the driver’s side headlight causing him to fall.”
The report continues on to say the victim got up and kept running. Police said the teens caught up to him again and beat him up by hitting and kicking him. An off-duty detective saw the incident unfold and intervened.
According to Rains, all of the teens are students at Leesburg High School, except for the victim who used to go there before transferring last year.
According to the incident report, the alleged attack happened because the victim and suspects were already arguing beforehand on social media “over a girl” and about a fight that happened at the school a few days before.
“I would just like to tell parents monitor your kids’ social media. I believe this could probably have been prevented,” Rains said.
Police said so far five teens, including 19-year-old Karami Ruiz, face aggravated and simple battery charges. WESH 2 is not naming the other high schoolers facing charges, including the girl who recorded the Snapchat video, since they are under 18.
The victim has minor injuries and is recovering well according to Rains. The suspects are expected to appear in court later this week