Groups of girls attack other girls at Staten Island mall, patrols stepped up

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Police are stepping up patrols at the Staten Island Mall following a string of attacks by groups of young girls on other girls.

Eyewitness News spoke with two victims who did not want to use their real names. We are calling them 'Maria' and 'Rose'.

"This used to be the place we would go to and we would feel okay and we would feel safe," said 14-year-old Maria.

She and Rose are now terrified of the Staten Island Mall after they walked into an unprovoked attack last week by a group of other girls.

"And they were like, do you want to fight," said Rose.

"She wanted to fight because she was bored or something," said Maria.

"And then a girl came behind me and dragged me by my hair," said Rose.

"I didn't really know what to do but I didn't want to watch my friend get hurt," said Maria.

Maria stepped in, but then they set upon her. She wound up with a concussion.

"I don't really remember much after that," she said.

"I can't stop trying to envision what my poor daughter went through. Four girls stomped on her head and I couldn't be there to help her," said the mother of one of the victims.

Their moms say they are outraged because they think the suspects, young teens themselves, will avoid any punishment.

Police say they are aware of at least five similar incidents at the mall in the past two weeks.

"This wasn't an isolated incident," said one of the mothers, 'Louise'. "There were four girls before our two and there were five girls attacked five days before that."

So far, police have arrested three girls and are looking for at least two others involved.

As the 121 Precinct posted pictures of patrol cars flooding the parking lot, they tweeted, "We won't tolerate any acts of violence."

But for Maria and Rose, the damage is done.

"Yeah I'm not going back to the mall anytime soon," said Rose.

"Security can stop people from walking in the wrong space but they can't stop two girls from getting jumped. So how does that make sense?," said Maria.

The mall's general manger released a statement talking about a "strict code of conduct" security enforces at all times.

But he refused to address any specific questions about security, or how last week's attacks fit into that code of conduct.

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