SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) – Two teenage girls were caught fighting, then the father of one of the girls jumped into the brawl. It was an alarming attack that left one of the girls beat and badly bruised, and would end with the father’s arrest, who is now being charged with aggravated child abuse.
The teenage girls were fighting Tuesday near a bus stop on Northwest 60th Avenue until a grown man got involved.
According to Sunrise Police, the man in the white hoodie, is the father of the girl who wore dark pants, and police said, he hit the girl fighting with his daughter in the face, which left her bruised.
The father, 30-year-old Jerry Mareus, stands at 5 foot, 8 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds.
But there is another father involved in this story. The victim’s father, who did not want to be identified.
“What heartless person could do such a thing,” said the victim’s father. “As a parent, we are supposed to protect, including diffusing a situation, not try to escalate the situation.”
But Sunrise Police said Mareus did more than come to his own daughter’s defense.
“This whole situation started because he brought his own child to that location specifically to fight this 15-year-old, your honor,” said an attorney.
It is unclear if cellphone video that captured the interaction was shot from the same angle as the one viewed by police.
In the video, Mareus can be clearly seen pulling the girl from his daughter and slamming her to the ground.
Police said they’ve seen video that shows much more.
“The arresting officer viewed the video. Video captured Mr. Mareus striking the 15-year-old victim with a closed fist multiple times,” an attorney said.
Mareus denies that.
The victim’s father said his daughter’s nose is broken and her eye was hit so hard it was swollen shut.
Her vision is now blurry.
Only on Friday, three days after the attack, was she able to eat again.
Her father is focused on her healing, and is sending a message.
“I trust the law to do the right thing, and that’s where I leave it,” the father said. “We should know better. That’s why grownups are in charge and not the kids. We have to guide them.”
To find ways in which to settle disputes, he said, it’s other than this.
7News stopped by Mareus’ home to see if he had any comment, but no one answered the door.
As for the victim who was beaten, her father said it will be a long road to recovery in order for her to regain eyesight back in her eye, which will likely need surgery.
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