Investigator Clarence Pearson of the Quincy Police Department said a recent increase in violence among girls has law enforcement officers worried. Hardly a weekend goes by that young girls are not involved in some kind of verbal or physical altercation.
"They are fighting all over the place. Most of them are middle school girls and they are really trying to hurt each other," he said.
Last month, after an evening at a private party at a community center, many of those who attended the party gathered at a fast food restaurant on West Jefferson Street where a fight started around 11 p.m. Pearson said between 50 and 100 kids and adults were fighting in the parking lot, some of them parents.
"It wasn't one big fight. There were multiple fights going on at the same time. There were fights for about a block and a half. If the Gadsden County Sheriff's Department had not come to assist, it would have taken us a long time to break up the fights," he said.
Pearson said that shortly after those fights were broken up another one started at the intersection of Fourth and Cooper streets.
"Even after we got them to the station some of them still wanted to fight. There were a lot of threats and a lot of profanity in the lobby of the station," he said.
At the end of the night more than a dozen juveniles and adults were arrested. The charges included resisting arrest, throwing a deadly missile, disorderly conduct, trespass after warning and inciting a riot.
"We've been trying to get to the bottom of what started it but the girls, most of them between 10 and 13 years old, only say things like 'she tried me' or 'she was in my face' and there is nothing we can do with that. No one was injured in that particular fight. We called paramedics after one of them said she was pregnant," Pearson said.
He said in multiple fights once a girl is knocked down others began stomping and taunting the downed girl.
"If one ever hits the ground, she's on her own," he said.
Attempts to get help from parents has not been successful. During the July fight he said parents were showing up, in some cases, to help their daughters fight other girls.
The problem, Pearson said, is that these are not gangs. There are programs in the county to address gang violence.
"These are just vicious little girls," he said.