Her 13-year-old daughter’s voice on the other end of the phone was hysterical, filled with fear.
“She said, ‘Momma, they jumped us,’” Demethria Curtis recalled on Tuesday.
Curtis had been on her way Saturday night to pick up her daughter and six other teen girls at the Sonic on Overton Ridge Boulevard after they had played games at the nearby Main Event South entertainment complex. She got the frantic call from her daughter while stopped at a red light. Without hesitation, she ran it.
Pulling up to the Sonic drive-in, Curtis saw dozens of older-looking teenagers leaving the scene before she called 911. Her daughter was bleeding from her mouth and had missing patches of hair from where attackers had dragged her across the concrete, she said. Other girls had bruises, black eyes and busted-up skin.
Videos of the assault, filmed as an Instagram livestream by a boy within the larger group of kids, later began circulating on social media, Curtis said.
Curtis has since shared the videos on her Facebook hoping to identify the attackers. But she can’t watch them.
“I’m sick of the bullying. I’m sick of the nit-picking. I’m sick of parents not being parents to their children and allowing them to do what they want to do,” she said. “It’s time for it to stop.”
Fort Worth police on Tuesday confirmed officers have filed an incident report and detectives are looking into the assault allegations. Officer Brad Perez, a police spokesman, said “if during this investigation it is determined that this involves minors, then we will be limited as to what information can be shared.”
Curtis has had people message her on Facebook to say they recognize some of the attackers, and she’s shared that information with police.
“I want them to go to jail,” she said of the attackers.
The seven 12- to 14-year-old victims are students from H.F. Stevens and Summer Creek middle schools in the Crowley Independent School District, Curtis said. Her daughter sustained a concussion, she said, and every girl was injured in some way.
One girl also had her iPhone 8 stolen.
The Instagram livestream, which was captured in multiple recordings, depicted the attack in gruesome detail.
A livestreamed attack
In the recordings, a boy who appears to be a teenager films himself and several other boys and girls walking toward the Sonic, talking and laughing. As they get closer, Curtis’ daughter and the other girls move to a nearby table. The others, however, follow them.
After a boy shouts out “they scared,” one girl from the larger group can be seen striking one of the teen girls in the head. It soon becomes a brawl, with several people punching and kicking the teen girls on the ground.
Some of the attackers even grab the girls by their long hair and drag them.
It continues for around 30 more seconds, with the camera getting shaky and the attackers becoming a blur of bodies. Female attackers can be seen hitting the girls, and it’s not clear if boys were taking part, too.
Curtis said parents who have watched the video and spoken to her say they believe some of the boys took part in kicking the girls on the ground.
Curtis said her daughter’s group, which included her first-cousin and friends, had encountered the same large group earlier in the night. Her daughter told her they had seen them causing a disturbance at a laser tag venue within the Main Event complex.
They then left for IHOP and called Curtis to pick them up from there. But the group, Curtis said, followed them.
That’s when the girls left for Sonic, only to be trailed again.
“They kept following them,” Curtis said.
Her daughter’s cousin, she said, claimed one person had told her, “You’re either gonna fight us for your phone or we’re gonna take it” before the attack broke out.
Her iPhone was later stolen.
Curtis said she exchanged words with the other kids Saturday night as they were leaving the Sonic, and they threatened to fight her. Seven police cars later arrived at the scene.
“What if my daughter would have died out there?” Curtis said.
Her daughter, she said, “isn’t the same person as she was prior to this happening.” She’s been quieter and has had no appetite.
Curtis hopes she gets justice.
“This situation,” she said, “should not have happened at all.”