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CHICAGO — Four juvenile girls have been arrested in connection with an attack on a 15-year-old girl with special needs that was captured on video. Police said the girls, ages 13, 14, 15 and another 15-years-old, have been charged; three with Aggravated Battery and one with Mob Action. Detectives said there are more people, aside from the four charged, who were involved. The 15-year-old girl’s maternal grandmother, Charlie Mae Harris, said she is happy to hear of the arrests, but wants more of these teens brought to justice. “It’s so sad when I saw that video where she screamed, they looked like it was funny, how it was savage,” Harris said. CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson and detectives announced the charges Thursday afternoon, along with a detailed timeline of what happened. “What caught my attention about this incident is that this victim knew her attackers and the video gave me the sense she felt she was among friends,” Johnson said. “I got to tell you it broke my heart to see this group of young people turn on her and escalate it into what we saw.”
Chicago police said a missing person’s report was filed for the 15-year-old girl, who has special needs, by her father, Mervyn Jenkins, on July 18. Authorities said she was missing for five days before police was contacted. Jenkins denied waiting five days to report his daughter’s missing status. He said he reported her missing that very first day. “She went missing on the 19th and I filed a report on the 18th,” Jenkins said. On Monday, a video of the teen being brutally attacked began circulating on social media. Detectives said they learned of the viral video on Tuesday. The 15-year-old was found Tuesday night by a vigilant citizen on the CTA and taken to the 11th Police District. From the police station, she was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center for observation. During interviews with detectives, the 15-year-old said she had met several juveniles, who she thought were her friends. The so-called friends taught her how to flash gang signs, which is when the beating that was captured on video occurred. Police are still looking into why the 15-year-old girl was missing. Family members said she was living with her father and paternal grandmother. They said her mother died two years ago. The 15-year-old is now in DCFS custody as the police investigation continues. DCFS opened its own investigation concerning allegations of the 15-year-old after receiving a call on its hotline. The agency called this matter heartbreaking and issued a statement:
The department is committed to protecting the state’s most vulnerable children. We are working closely with law enforcement to fully investigate what happened in this case.
No further details were provided by police at this time. This is a developing story. Check back for details.