It's not clear why a group of high school girls lashed out at Temple University students Friday, but, with five girls in custody, police are hoping to get that answer soon.
Five girls, ranging from 14 to 17 years old, turned themselves in to Central Detectives today, Capt. Frank Banford said. The girls came forward after seeing news reports about a series of three attacks near Temple's campus Friday night, one of which left a female student bruised and bloodied after being hit with a brick.
"They saw themselves in the video, and knew that sooner or later, they would get caught," Banford said.
One girl, 15, will likely be charged with aggravated assault and related offenses in the brick attack, which took place on 17th Street near Norris just before 6 p.m., Banford said. In that incident, a 19-year-old woman was hit in the face as she was walking with her boyfriend, according to sources at Temple. Her teeth were fractured, and she required oral surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital.
The motive in that attack, and two others that occurred minutes and blocks apart, is unclear, Banford said. One witness told police that she saw a group of high school girls yelling about a "flash mob" and running down Willington Street in the minutes before the first attack.
"This is not an ongoing event," Banford said. "These girls came to the area on public transportation, and they left the area by bus afterward."
He said the girls are students at various schools around the city, including at least one in the area surrounding Temple, and that it's not clear how they knew each other.
In the other two attacks, one at 17th Street near Willington and another at 17th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue, female Temple students were punched in the face, Banford said.
Charges for the suspect in the brick assault haven't been approved yet, but likely will be by tonight. Of the other four girls in custody, only three will likely be charged, Banford said.