YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - The fights are mostly teenage girls delivering blows to other teenage girls. The knock-down, drag-out fights are organized, wagered upon, and then posted on YouTube.
“We’re trying to identify the kids, and get them to the same table to the parents. And, get to the bottom of it,” said Angela Babash.
Babash is president of the New West Willow Neighborhood Association and helped break up a fight of about 50 people Monday night. “As soon as we started walking up they dispersed. Like that,” she said.
The videos started popping up on YouTube a little over a week ago. The playground at West Willow Park, in Ypsilanti Township, is routinely used as the boxing ring.
“There are also some references to making money and people winning or losing on the fights,” said Babash.
The organized betting is leading officials to believe the idea is a fight club. The spectators are not just other teens.
“There are infants in strollers and 3-year-olds to 5-year-olds. There are also some adults in the videos that are spectators,” said Babash.
A group of boys and girls at the park tell Action News that the fights are organized on social media sites.
“Yeah, they’re organized, betted on, and everything,” said 16-year-old Johnique Patterson. She says people from different high schools participate.
“That’s how people solve their problems when they beefing and stuff,” said Patterson.
People living in the West Willow Neighborhood say the fighting is nothing new.
“When I was growing up everybody wasn’t putting it on YouTube, so maybe that’s why it was so hidden and behind closed doors that nobody knew,” said a woman living nearby who did not want to be identified.
Officials are trying to stop the fight club before one of these teens winds up in the hospital or worse. Some of the teens have been identified from local high schools.
The neighborhood association is asking anyone who sees a fight in progress to call 9-1-1 immediately. Even if the caller can remember the clothing of the teenagers who were fighting, it will help police get a better handle on the problem.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More Washtenaw News
"They started knocking on my door, telling me that if I don't give them my baby that they were going to arrest me," said Dalia Kenbar whose infant daughter was taken by Child Protective Services (CPS) the day before Thanksgiving.
It started out as a normal, if busy day at work in Ann Arbor for Bar Louie’s server Ben Swerdlow-Freed.
"It's just scary because it happened to me," said 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University student Destinee Leapheart after she was released from the hospital Wednesday with a bullet still lodged in her left shoulder. "I wasn't doing anything to put me in danger. I was sleeping."