PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – Investigators with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office don’t believe it was a coincidence that someone happened to be recording as a fight broke out in Crescent City.
The video shows a 17-year-old girl being tasered Monday by a Putnam County deputy after the Sheriff’s Office responded to a fight between two groups of people. The teen, who hit the ground, was in intensive care and recently got moved to a normal hospital room.
The video was posted to social media and appears to have been removed after News4JAX reported the story Thursday night. Not shown in the video, we’re told, is a group of people that had gathered to watch. Investigators believe the person who recorded the video might have not expected to see deputies show up to stop the fight.
“We do know that when the group came looking for the fight, they passed patrol vehicles, and by the time we could actually get on scene, the fight had already erupted,” said Major Steve Rose, with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
And it didn’t take long for the video to be posted to social media like so many others that have been under investigation by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of kids that are wanting to video record these encounters and post them on social media,” Rose said.
Investigators told us about various Palatka fight groups on social media. While some of the online accounts are set to private, others publicly show videos of young people and teenagers in Palatka and Putnam County fighting. In almost all the videos, there are groups of people surrounding the people fighting and cheering them on. The fights appear brutal. In one video, we saw a male flashing cash and taking bets on who would win the fight while people were duking it out behind him.
“A lot of times, we will see adults encourage the fighting,” Rose said.
As for the video News4JAX obtained Thursday night, Rose said it’s still under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office said it’s difficult to identify people in the videos, and many times their posted on pages limiting public access and by people using aliases.
“By the time we see it, it’s already occurred. Sometimes hours. Sometimes days after the fact,” Rose said. “And a lot of times when we try to do an investigation, nobody wants to talk to law enforcement officials.”
Investigators say it’s an ongoing issue that typically worsens during the school year.