A Florida mother was arrested after allegedly “inciting, encouraging, and coaching” her 16-year-old daughter while the girl fought with another teenager.
Video footage released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office appears to show the mother, Giselle Reyes Felix, 36, coaching her daughter.
“Our adult suspect was supposed to be responsible for the 16-year-old girl. Instead, she not only drove the girl to the victim, but she also incited and encouraged a fight, and coached the girl on how to hit the victim. This was totally irresponsible.” said Sheriff Grady Judd in a statement.
He said that the fight started because Felix’s daughter didn’t get invited to a party that the victim was having. Felix’s daughter showed up anyways, and they had words. The situation devolved further on Facebook and Instagram, with comments hurled back and forth.
Deputies said that Felix drove her 16-year-old daughter to the house of a 17-year-old girl, where the younger girl ambushed the other as the older teen walked home from school, before beginning to shout encouragement as the brawl developed.
“Punch, punch! Get up!” Felix can be heard yelling at her daughter early in the footage. Later, she added: “Come on, hit her! Your mom is here!”
In addition to driving herself and her daughter to the scene, Felix also took care to bring a third person to film the fight, the sheriff said. “Are you going to wrap up the video and give it to your daughter for Christmas with a pair of boxing gloves?” Judd said at a press conference. “How horrible can it be. This is not how we raise peaceful, respectful people in society.”
During the fight, a neighbor arrives and temporarily stops it.
But when she makes clear she wants to intervene further, Felix tells her not to.
“Don’t go over there,” the mother said.
“I’m not jumping in, I was going to stop it,” the girl replies.
“Oh you better not,” the mother said. “Let them fight!”
The footage shows the girls continuing to brawl before ending shortly after.
“This is a parent. What are you thinking? Are you just nuts?” Judd said. “You’re supposed to be the adult, you’re supposed to be the mother. If you had problems, you’re supposed to go to the other girl’s mother and work it out without a street fight.”
“I’m just shocked,” he added. “Moms are not supposed to do that.”
Felix was charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Felix is lucky that the fight didn’t end up with someone getting seriously hurt or killed, Judd said, noting the charges could have been much worse in that case.
In addition to the charges against Felix, her unnamed daughter was arrested and charged with battery.