Texas Teens Accused of Filming Student Brawls

Police arrested four teens accused of filming and selling DVDs of students brawling in arranged fights outside schools, in a restaurant and in the streets.

The two-hour video called "Agg Townz Fights, Part II," which has a rap-music sound track, contains scenes of girls punching each other, a boy hitting a girl who falls down, and two boys shaking hands after bare-fisted boxing. In one scene, a teen lies still after hitting his head on the curb, leaving a trail of blood, but is then helped off the ground.

Michael G. Jackson, 18, and Deunte Lamar Giles, 17, of Arlington were arrested Tuesday and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity/aggravated assault, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Jackson was released Wednesday after posting a $25,000 bond.

John Paul Barree, 18, of Dallas and a 14-year-old Arlington boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, were arrested Wednesday on the same charge. Police issued arrest warrants for two others accused of planning and videotaping the fights.

Jackson told KDFW-TV that the fights were not staged, but random.

Police said that they have worked with schools to identify some of the brawling teens, including some as young as 14, but that so far none want to press charges because they participated willingly.

"These kids see it as entertainment, but these are real fights, whether they're willing combatants or not, and people are getting seriously injured," Deputy Chief James Hawthorne told leaders from 10 churches who met Wednesday to discuss the problem.

Police discovered the "Part II" DVD while investigating a March assault involving a 16-year-old who was hospitalized and did not want to fight, Hawthorne said. They do not have a copy of the first DVD.

Those caught watching the fights will be charged as accomplices, and those fighting and videotaping will be jailed on charges of fighting in public, disorderly conduct or engaging in organized crime, Hawthorne said.

Two disc jockeys for a local radio station who talk to the camera but are not in any fight scenes are also being investigated, Hawthorne said.

They were taped at a music convention and thought they were commenting on a contest between rappers, said Ken Dowe, chief operating officer for Service Broadcasting, which owns K104 FM. They knew nothing about the fights or the type of DVD being made, he said.

The video, which refers to a nickname for Arlington, was sold on the Internet for $15 to $20. Authorities did not know Wednesday how many copies were sold.

"It's not necessarily gangsters or gang members involved, and that's the most frightening part," Hawthorne said. "These are just regular kids."