DANIA BEACH, FL – A 50-year-old woman out of Broward County is facing a litany of charges, to include child abuse, after authorities say she was caught on camera helping her own daughter attack an 11-year-old girl outside of a middle school in Dania Beach earlier in September.
On September 13th, at approximately 3:10 p.m., the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a battery in progress taking place just outside of Olsen Middle School. Responding deputies learned that an 11-year-old female victim had been attacked by another girl of the same age, with a woman later identified as 50-year-old Sabrina Thomas allegedly getting in on the beating.
Authorities also learned Thomas is the mother of the juvenile aggressor who initiated the beating of the victim.
According to the arrest report, Thomas’ daughter had initially been in some kind of verbal dispute outside of the school with a 15-year-old girl, essentially over some boy/dating-related drama. Thomas’ daughter then reportedly turned her attention over to the 11-year-old victim who’d just happened to be walking by at the moment, telling her, “you can get it too,” before launching the unprovoked attack.
Upon questioning of the juvenile suspect, authorities say she claimed she only attacked the 11-year-old girl because she believed she was going to be hit first by the victim. Detectives rebuffed the claim of the juvenile suspect, noting the victim was walking away when the attack began.
The video was captured of the attack, where the victim can be seen being pulled down to the ground by her hair by the juvenile suspect, with footage then showing Thomas joining in with her daughter in doling out punches to the young victim’s face.
Thomas was reportedly arrested on September 15th under charges of child abuse without great bodily harm, battery second subsequent offense, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The child abuse charge alone, which falls under Florida’s child neglect statute, is a third-degree felony that can result in up to five years in prison. Additionally, a child abuse conviction in Florida can result in adverse impacts to complete termination of parental rights.
Thomas was slated to appear before Broward County Judge Phoebee Francois on September 16th but had apparently refused to attend the hearing. Instead, Thomas’ sister showed up on her behalf, pleading with the judge to let her out of jail without having to post bond since Thomas allegedly couldn’t afford it.
Judge Francois was clearly annoyed by Thomas’ absence, telling the defendant’s sister, “The problem is that because she is not here, I can’t even instruct her as to what she needs to do for pretrial release.”
Despite not appearing before the judge for her bond hearing, local reports note that Thomas’ bond was set at $1,000 with release conditions that include her needing to stay away from Olsen Middle School.