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Decatur High seniors arrested in connection with videotaped beating

Decatur Decaturish updates

Decatur High seniors arrested in connection with videotaped beating

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated. 

Three female Decatur High seniors have been arrested and are accused of beating a younger female. The alleged incident was captured on video and posted online.

“On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, arrest warrants for battery were issued for 17-year-old [name withheld by Decaturish] of Decatur, 18-year-old Ana Marcus of Decatur and 18-year-old Amelia Hall of Decatur,” Lt. Jennifer Ross said. “[Name withheld], Marcus and Hall were taken into custody later in the evening and booked into the DeKalb County jail.”

Decaturish only names suspects younger than 18 if they are accused of a felony, like murder, and being tried as an adult. Battery is a misdemeanor.

The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 6 in the 1500 block of Oakview Road in Decatur.

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Police Lt. Jennifer Ross said under the law all three suspects are considered adults.

“The term ‘charged as adults’ does not apply in this case because all three of the arrestees are 17 or older, so they are adults in the state of Georgia,” Ross said. “Being charged as an adult applies when a juvenile, defined by law as 16-years-old or younger, are charged with certain types of crimes.”

Decaturish has also obtained a copy of the video, which we are not publishing out of respect to the victim. The victim, 16, was treated for moderate injuries and released from an area hospital, police said. The video shows three teenage girls tackling a younger girl in what appears to be the driveway of a residence. The girls repeatedly punch the victim in the head and face, calling her an expletive over and over. Other teenagers can be seen standing around the three girls commenting on the attack. Some of the teenagers in the video can be seen recording the attack with their cell phones.

City Schools of Decatur has said it is investigating the incident and “appropriate action will be taken as needed.”

Editor’s note: Decaturish gave serious consideration about whether or not to publish certain information about this case, including the names of the suspects. While all of the information is a matter of public record, we understand that Decatur’s schools are a point of pride for the community and that publicizing a case involving Decatur High students might upset some of our readers. We asked a wide range of people for their opinions about what we should do, including police officers, attorneys, fellow journalists and members of the community. The majority of people we spoke to encouraged us to “be consistent” in our coverage.

Keeping that in mind, we found several previous stories where we identified young suspects:

Police: Car that killed Lakeside High teacher was traveling over 100 mph

Police arrest man who allegedly stole a purse then stole a vehicle

Atlanta Police make two arrests in Edgewood carjackings, property manager issues statement

Decatur Police make four arrests in 24 hours

We can’t in good conscience treat suspects in crimes committed inside Decatur any differently than we treat suspects in crimes committed outside of the city limits. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty, and we always strive to remind readers of the presumption of innocence.

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