A California police department has arrested a woman who was caught on video forcing her 13-year-old daughter to hit another 13-year-old.
The Turlock Police Department announced officers had arrested Barbara Cypress, who forced her daughter to hit another teenager at a bus stop. Cypress faces a felony false imprisonment charge and two misdemeanor charges of child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Cypress's daughter was also arrested and charged with battery.
"It's after school, you can't get in trouble, it's after school," Cypress is heard yelling in the video which was shot by another student.
"It's horrible for a parent to watch that. It's awful," said Irina Lizarraga Acuna, who is the mother of the victim, Jackie. "You feel really ... I feel guilty, you know? I wish I would have been there to help her."
"I was just arriving to work. She called me crying that she needed my help."
Witnesses said that Jackie had stood up to Cypress's daughter and asked her to leave her alone as they were walking home from school. They added that Jackie tried to get away multiple times before Cypress grabbed her and forced her own daughter to strike her classmate.
The video went viral after it was published last week and has been shared more than 5,000 times.
It struck a particularly sensitive chord with other parents.
Acuna says that she's directed much of her fury at Cypress:
"In the video, you can see that the teenager doesn't even want to hit my daughter. She's being forced by her mom to hit her. You know, I'm not even mad, I can't be mad at the teenager. I'm mad at the mom. How could you force your daughter to hit someone else?"
The Turlock Unified School District has also responded to the incident, saying students can be disciplined for incidents that happen going to and from school:
"Like most who have viewed this video, we were appalled by this attack. We have identified those shown in the video and have shared this information with the Turlock Police Department who are conducting an investigation. Fortunately, we were able to make contact with the family of the victim and our TJHS Dean of Students has followed up with them. TUSD would like to thank those who reached out to us on social media with their concerns which allowed us to quickly address this terrible incident."
The district has launched its own investigation into the incident.
"She needs to learn her lesson, you know, not to touch anybody else's kid," Acuna said, noting that she is moving forward with pressing charges.
Cypress remained at the Stanislaus County Jail on $20,000 bail as of yesterday afternoon. Crime doesn't pay––even if it's after school.