NIAGARA FALLS, NY - Charges have now been filed in connection with a disturbing cell phone video of a fight between two female students who attend Niagara Falls High School. Police arrested the man seen in the video, John Henry Harris III, who is also heard on the video encouraging the girls to fight.
One of them is his teenage daughter. The other girl is the granddaughter of Emmett Cox. Cox says, "Talking to her like some kind of vicious animal. I mean like a madman. You know, I'm saying whoa, man. This is crazy."
We removed the audio because of constant swearing in the video.
Shyloe Staples, 15, is Cox's granddaughter. She is seen fighting in the leopard-skin jacket. She told us today, after watching the video again, that she and the other girl had started trash talking at school before the fight.
Niagara Falls Police investigated and filed harassment and endangering the welfare of a child charges against Harris. Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto says "We've had similar instances close to that but this is certainly one of the most extreme that we've seen. We certainly don't want adults getting involved and certainly encouraging juveniles to fight. And if there were an issue, everybody including Mr. Harris would have been better served by calling the police and letting us handle it."
Staples says she is being treated for neck and shoulder injuries, and that her grandfather is furious with Harris.
Cox says "If you didn't want no fight like that, he should have got his daughter in the car and just left. That would have prevented this whole situation. But what he did - he did it like a madman. He did it like someone who was outrageous. Someone that has no respect for his himself and no respect for his daughter. He showed all those kids out there exactly what an adult shouldn't do."
Harris declined a recorded interview after speaking with his attorney. But he did say the video was clearly "not his best moment." He also said he spoke with school officials on Monday before the fight and told them his daughter felt harassed and threatened with messages on Facebook.
A school district spokeswoman confirmed that Harris spoke to them and showed them the messages. Shyloe Staples was then suspended and kept in detention. School officials say they tried to reach her family to take her home but were unable to do so. She ended up going home on the same school bus as the other girl.