Teen girl charged in Griffin Skate Inn incident; BLM protest underway at SCSO

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement is underway at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.

Organized by community activist Ray Harps-Muhammad, the protest is in response to an incident that occurred Friday night at Griffin Skate Inn.

The family of a 14-year-old girl alleges she was slapped in the face by 63-year-old Tommy Scott, a Griffin Skate Inn security guard, after the teen admittedly slapped his cell phone from his hand.

According to the incident report filed by SCSO Deputy D.J. Porter, Scott provided a cell phone recording that depicted the juvenile approaching him and saying, “I don’t give a f*ck about you recording,” before she slapped his hand, causing him to drop his cell phone.

Porter alleges the juvenile female “appeared to be the primary aggressor in three incidents,” including one in which she allegedly spat on 52-year-old Bill Weatherup, the owner of Griffin Skate Inn, and another in which she reportedly threw a rock that broke the windshield of a van.

Porter stated the juvenile said she threw the rock after occupants of the van first threw objects at her.

The juvenile’s statement was supported by Tomeka Wiems, her aunt, who said she also witnessed Scott slap her niece.

A second Griffin Skate Inn security guard, Taylor Hamm, told authorities he had repeatedly instructed the individuals in the van to leave, but they refused to do so and instead, kept getting out of the van due to an altercation that allegedly occurred inside the skating rink.

Mary Morgan, the van’s driver, disputed those allegations, saying she was attempting to leave when the other group  of juveniles began throwing things at her vehicle.

Muhammad said the Tuesday morning protest was organized in response to Scott having not being arrested.

“All we’re trying to do in this case here is first of all come to some resolution. Did Tommy Scott put his hands on a 14-year-old girl? Regardless of what she said, regardless of what she did, no one has a right to put his or her hands on a child,” Harps-Muhammad said. “We’ve already asked the Sheriff to come to some type of resolution. On Sunday, we gave him 24 hours, and no action has been taken. Tommy Scott was allowed to go home while the girl who was interviewed, it was more of an antagonistic interview with her.”

Harps-Muhammad said he believes the everyone involved should be held responsible for their actions.

“I think he slapped her across the face after she slapped the phone out of his hand. By her own word, she admitted that she slapped the phone out of his hand. He retaliated with the phone being slapped out of his hand – according to her word and her family’s word – he retaliated with a slap to the face. We just want justice in this,” he said. “If it proves that she lied, then we’ll deal with that, as well, but I don’t think she lied. I don’t think the mark on her face indicates she lied. I don’t think her family lied.”

The 14-year-old, whose name has not been officially released, has been criminally charged in the incident.

“At this point, the only person who has been charged is the juvenile,” SCSO Maj. Dwayne Jones said Tuesday, referring to Porter having filed a juvenile complaint against the teen girl. “It’s considered an arrest.”

She is facing two charges – simple battery and criminal trespassing – but the investigation is ongoing.

“The deputy (Porter) made a determination based on the information he had, but in case there is additional information that we should review, we have asked anyone who witnessed it or may have cell phone recording to please contact Lt. James Cape of our CID (Criminal Investigation Division),” Jones said. “We’re not second-guessing the actions of the deputy. We’re just ensuring that we’ve obtained all the evidence that’s associated with the disturbance.”

Jones said the Sheriff’s Office was not notified about the protest, but they were aware it had been planned.

“We hope that it’s going to be a peaceful protest, but that’s what we understand,” Jones said. “People can exercise their First Amendment rights.”

Upon learning the juvenile has been charged in this incident, Harps-Muhammad said, “It’s interesting that they can charge her so quickly but can’t seem to find the evidence to charge him.”

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Comments

  1. I would have broke her by god neck

  2. Children must stay in a childs place. That girl had no business slapping the phone out of his hand. She had no business using the language she used. The children in this area are out of control with no parental guidance. Non whatsoever!! I see it everyday in the Griffin area. If it was the mans child knocking the cell phone out of the girls Aunt’s hand. I bet she would have reacted the same way as the man did. I know i would have and especially after she spit on me. She would have gotten the spanking she should be getting at home.

  3. Parents can be held responsible for the actions of their minor children.
    A lawsuit against the parents for the damages caused by the child is in order.

  4. Glad it started to rain. Hope it pours down to wash some of the hate away.

  5. Vicky Reams says:

    I know that my granddaughter took her 3 year old daughter and 12 year old sister to the Griffin Skate Inn a couple of weeks ago and had to leave because the teens there kept harassing them to the point they had to leave. They had trouble even leaving as there was an altercation in the parking lot.
    It is really sad times.

  6. Lot of ignorant comments about not charging the adult in this for his actions. Also not a lot of actual reading of the article before passing judgement. It was started that Harps-Muhammed thinks the girl should pay for her part, also that the grown man shouldn’t have put this hands on a child regardless of what she did. Put your child in her place and what is your reaction? Think people, and learn to read and comprehend what is written. Also, wear your masks you f#@&ing heathens.

    • Charles Hullinger says:

      If my child acted like a wild animal i would appreciate someone trying to teach them because obviously nothing has worked so far.

  7. 14 years old is plenty old enough to get what she deserves you can’t go out into the public and expect people to allow you to destroy property disrespect adults and act in an inappropriate manner in public and not receive punishment for such actions! FYI this is why the county can’t seem to give bus drivers who wants to drive around smart mouth violent disrespectful kids? Think about that parents then you’ll understand why your kid has to catch a bus or blocks down from where it lives cuz we have a shortage of bus drivers

  8. The way the girl was acting like a IDIOT cussing ,spitting,etc…She needs to be charged as a adult !!if you get out there thinking everyone is suppose to bow down to you then you deserve what ever comes your way !!!! That’s the whole problem kids want to do whatever disrespect people and in danger others and when people put there foot down then the kid wants to cry like a baby and say I am just a minor !! NO you get what ever comes your way period !!we need to hold these young disrespectful kids accountable period !! And no he should NOT be charged for defending his self !!! Charge the disrespectful minor and lock her up for her actions hold her accountable !!!

  9. Artimus Pyledriver says:

    Maybe Mr Ray Harps-Muhammad should educate his people on how to act properly in public…remember you are never too young to be above the law.

  10. Since I wasn’t there, I cannot say who is to blame and who isn’t..All I can say is,,,Kids act like there is nothing but their way, need to be taught right and wrong at home above all…It seems a disturbance happened, which should have not and if accused obey the laws and rules, there would be no retaliation on either persons part. Hope justice is served and a lesson will be learned.

  11. judy setran says:

    So…They think is not right that this teenager that struck an adult cussed and spit and threw rocks breaking a windshield, is being unfairly charged and want the person that allegedly retaliated to being struck by an an out of control teen hasn’t been charged.. If you can dish it you have to expect to receive it..No matter a fourteen doesn’t get a pass just because they are fourteen..

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