tv Caught on Camera MSNBC July 17, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
>> ooh, yeah, baby, ooh, yeah. >> they are out of control. teens attacking teachers. fighting, hazing and beating each other to a pulp. >> yeah, man! >> they videotape -- >> they knew there was going to be this fight and they came with a video camera. >> then upload the footage to get their 15 megabytes of fame. >> they somehow think that by posting it on the internet, it's taken the criminal aspects out of it. >> but sometimes big brother is watching, and the teenagers get caught. >> the videotape is a critical piece of evidence that is uncontradicted.
"caught on camera: teens gone wild." teenagers. what can we say about them? they're young, impressionable, on the road toward independence. they've traded their toys for technology and sometimes find fun in pranking and punking each other. but some of these capers turn violent. and the teenagers involved find themselves in a heap of trouble, especially when their wrongdoing is caught on camera. dozens of teenagers crowd a park in an affluent chicago suburb on a sunday afternoon. high school juniors, in white, expected to play in an annual girls football game with their senior schoolmates. about 100 students are there, some with video cameras, and some drinking. well, as the game winds down, the mood turns ugly.
>> it was supposed to be a fun thing. this was supposed to be our initiation into our senior year. >> seniors, seniors. >> for years, the tradition was a powderpuff game followed by some egg throwing and shaving cream. but the initiation of a group of juniors at glenbrook north high in may 2003 turned stunningly violent. >> stop! stop! >> becoming a brutal, alcohol-fueled hazing. every bit of it caught on tape. >> one of the girls ripped out a piercing from my ear. i had contusions to my head, bruising of my ribs, a fractured tailbone, just multiple bruising all over my body. >> stop it! stop it! >> the girls are forced to sit together on the ground while they are punched, kicked and splattered with garbage by the senior girls in yellow and a few boys. they withstand purple paint, fish guts, even feces. lauren wilner, then 16, says she
is choked with strings of pig intestines. >> i had trouble swallowing. i was choked and strangled so it is hard for me to eat and swallow. >> i was just afraid to say anything at that point. i was just sitting there praying to god that it would all be over. >> within minutes of the start of the hazing, it's clear this isn't just a case of girls gone wild. boys from the high school are urging the seniors to escalate the violence, toasting them with glasses of beer and in some cases getting licks in of their own. one boy seems to egg on one of the more violent girls on the tape. >> [ bleep ] kill them. >> yeah! >> a girl on the ground is attacked and kicked. >> dude, i think this is one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen. >> in the next several minutes one girl after another emerges from the chaos seriously injured. >> [ bleep ]! >> she's bleeding! >> get her. get her to a hospital! >> this girl needs 15 stitches after being slammed in the head with a bucket.
>> it is all over. they're initiated. >> but it's far from over. one senior who earlier attacked one of the juniors decides to take one more crack at her. >> yeah! >> an all-out brawl ensues. and police are called to the scene. but by the time they arrive, the fight's over. in the end, five girls are taken to the hospital. this one with a broken ankle. >> the girls came there with weapons intending to do damage and with malice aforethought. there was a girl there with a baseball bat. i'm told there were paint pellet guns. >> as the details of the violent scene on the tape begin to emerge, the principal is appalled. >> i'm shocked at the extent that some students went in this incident. and when they talk about hazing, i think most people would assume that you're going to have normal levels of violence, but this got, in some cases, way out of hand.
and so we are, i feel, just really saddened by what i saw on that videotape. >> kill, kill, kill! >> if they're having what they may deem as fun or something that is part of what the school culture, that's one thing. but when you cross the line and start hurting each other, that's a whole different ball game. >> authorities immediately begin considering criminal charges against some of the girls on this tape. in the end, 31 seniors are expelled from the high school. 16 of them are also found guilty of criminal battery or alcohol-related charges. most are sentenced to court supervision for a year. community reaction is mixed. >> it's not that big of a deal. so a girl got her head split open. she's not dead. >> this does not reflect everyone at tbn. it reflects only a small minority of people who went -- just went out of control. >> suspensions for 15 juniors including these two are lifted when they sign a waiver agreeing
to get counseling and not to sell their story. according to the cook county state's attorney, the fault lies with some parents behind the scenes. two adults are sentenced to probation for providing alcohol to the minors. one, whose son brought at least two kegs of beer to the park, another for allowing kids to drink beer in her home before the assaults took place. these two girls sue 62 former students and their parents and have since settled for an undisclosed amount. this incident stays in the headlines for several weeks after the story breaks, but it might not have had the same impact had the bloody hazing not been caught on camera for all the world to see. >> seniors! seniors! seniors, seniors! coming up -- a high school boy plans an attack on his english teacher. >> he just took a running start, and he hit her with everything he had. and florida teens in a fight so vicious it's got everyone talking. >> they just beat her and beat her and beat her. >> when "caught on camera: teens gone wild" continues.
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sits beautiful mobile, alabama. grand old oak trees, gorgeous homes, easy southern living. if you ask anybody, it's a great place to raise a family, and the schools, especially murphy high school, with its sprawling campus and 2,600 students, considered one of the best in the area. >> murphy high school is a very diverse school. we're an inner city school, but we have close to a 50/50 white/black ratio population. it's a wonderful mixture. i always say that murphy is probably the closest we'll have to the perfect melting pot. >> reporter: doug estle is the principal at murphy high school. he has a great rapport with his students. but one afternoon on may 18th, 2007, one of those students commits a violent and senseless crime.
>> a student was being placed under a suspension from a teacher's classroom. >> 16-year-old randolph parker, seen here in the blue shirt, khaki colored pants, is the problem student in 61-year-old melissa's ninth grade english class. she's giving a party that afternoon in her classroom for an exchange student who's returning home. although randolph parker had been suspended earlier that day, he returns later and paces outside her door. >> obviously through his anger, he wanted to take out revenge, blamed her for the problems he had been having. y to attack her or to hit her. >> as this last period progresses, you can see randolph parker walking up and down the hallway, waiting for the class to end. he puts on a red bandana over his face and signals to his cohort, 17-year-old dominic harris, to position himself on the other side of the hallway. according to police, harris' role was to get the assault on
his cell phone camera. at one point parker even sends another student into the class to coax the teacher to come out into the hallway. >> there's no doubt mr. parker did plan the attack. they put a little bit of thought into it because they get there right at the end of the day. >> it's 2:15 and class is letting out. unbeknownst to parker and harris, the school's surveillance cameras capture the entire incident. >> through the eye of the camera you'll see the whole thing. you'll see parker get behind her door. and as she was walking out of her door right at the end of the day, now there were students in the hall. he just took a running start, and he hit her with everything he had. >> parker drives a vicious blow into the side of the teacher's face right above her eye. she falls to the ground, and he takes off running down the hall and out the building. students immediately come to the teacher's aid. she gets up from the floor and sits down, holding her head, clearly in pain. principal doug estle is called to the scene. >> over the radio, i heard an administrator is needed
upstairs. and, of course, we know when we get the call on the radio an administrator is needed. we all go. we get there, and at the point i get to the top of the stairs i realize what had happened. >> the teacher, bleeding from her injuries, is rushed to the hospital where she receives 20 stitches around her eye. some say the extent of the injuries is so severe because parker was wearing brass knuckles. >> i believe he did have on brass knuckles just because of the injury itself and how he cut the teacher's eye. >> after the teacher is taken care of, doug estle starts the investigation into who could have done this. several years earlier murphy high school installed an elaborate system of surveillance cameras for security purposes. they have used it in the past to catch petty thieves and late-night break-ins, but this is the first for an assault of >> room and iediately start backing it up and taking a look at who it was. we also had students already in the hallway who identified both young men. >> and because of the tapes and
the student identifications, the police were able to apprehend the suspects quickly. mobile district attorney john tyson. >> well, the tape speaks for itself. we have two young men who are in on it. one is to take photographs. the other is going to actually accomplish the assault. and we can clearly see, as the teacher walks out, that the ambush is on, and he throws a haymaker and floors the teacher right there in the hall. >> randolph parker is charged as an adult. he pleads guilty to felony assault in the second-degree and is sentenced to three years in prison. as for the claim that he was wearing brass knuckles -- >> we were never able to prove brass knuckles. he has a reputation for having brass knuckles, but we couldn't prove it in this case. >> as for dominic harris, the second student with the cell phone camera, his trial is pending. >> i think the arrest and conviction and sentencing of the first young man here probably
sends as loud and strong a message as can be sent in this community. that is our teachers are special. our teachers under the law are protected. >> john tyson knows the surveillance video in the case was critical in the conviction of randolph parker. >> it's very difficult for a defendant to deny what everybody can see on videotape. videotape has no motive. the videotape lays it all out for everyone to see. coming up -- it's three teens against one in a violent school yard fight. >> you see the girl realizing that it wasn't just going to be a one-on-one conversation, that she was being assaulted. >> a tape that shocks police when "caught on camera: teens gone wild" returns. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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freshmen girls, two aged 14 and one 13. and it's all caught on camera by a 16-year-old boy. >> i was pretty shocked, especially seeing young ladies acting in such a violent manner. >> detective lieutenant robert edwards is the commanding officer at the precinct where the attack took place. >> she was, you know -- it was difficult to watch, you know, this girl being viciously assaulted. >> and viciously assaulted she was. the victim, whose name is never released to the public because of her age, stands there with her arms folded while three girls taunt her. then the girl in red comes up, punches her right in the face, tackles her to the ground and pounds on her profusely. another girl joins in the fray and begins to pull her hair all while cursing at her. >> [ bleep ]! [ bleep ].
>> the victim, in agony, crawls up in a ball but is kicked in the head several times. this violent scene takes place in the school yard of a local elementary school. the victim is allegedly lured there by the three girls to settle a dispute one of them is having with the victim on the internet over a boy. >> you see the victim, the girl realizing that this isn't going to be a one-on-one conversation, that she was being assaulted. >> ryan alomar is the 16-year-old videotaping the attack. as it turns out, ryan is not an innocent bystander but a participant in the setup. his job is to record the beating as it happens and then post it on the internet. >> he came with a video camera with the intent to film this thing, and there were other people that came by knowing that this was going to happen to watch the fight. so it was a planned situation. they knew exactly what was going to happen. >> videos like these are all over the internet on websites like myspace and youtube. a writer from one new york daily newspaper calls it virtual
exhibitionism where kids reveal all kinds of personal information online without any thoughts to its implications. lieutenant edwards says the internet is playing a significant role in encouraging bad behavior like the attack on this teen. >> i guess people like to brag, where i guess in the past people can tell my friends, now i can brag about it online even people that reason friends of theirs, just acquaintances, so just so people can see what's going on. >> but that bragging on the internet has a flip side teens aren't necessarily thinking about. >> from a law enforcement perspective, sometimes it helps us with our investigations. >> youtube issued a comment regarding this case. "real violence is not allowed on youtube. our community polices the site for inappropriate material. once flagged, content is reviewed by our staff and usually removed from the system within minutes if it violates our community guidelines." in this case the victim never reports the attack or tells her parents.
but the school district gets wind of the video, tracks down those involved, and calls the police. the four students are immediately suspended, and that's just the beginning. >> the three girls were charged with attempted assault. by the time we had gotten into the investigation, it was difficult to document the extent of the injuries to the young lady, so we charged them with attempted assault. >> the girls plead guilty and are serving probation. ryan alomar, who videotaped the assault, is also arrested. >> he was charged with unlawful assembly. he came with a video camera, came prepared to film this situation. >> for the teens who beat up this girl and the video voyeur who taped it, the thrill of it being seen for bragging rights turns into the best evidence against them. >> without the existence of this tape, it might have been more difficult to, you know, move forward for arrest and prosecution. the tape is pretty convincing evidence. in june 2007, pam hamilton and her husband, gary, longtime residents of madison county, a
quaint midwestern community about 30 miles from st. louis, became victims of a crime. it wasn't a particularly vicious or heinous crime, more like petty theft. but it is frequent, and they're frustrated. >> the first time they hit the truck, they took extension cords. the second time they took about the same amount of extension cord for the copper. the third time they took extension cord -- the replacement extension cord, and they took the welding blade. >> the theft may have only been extension cords, but they're worth a few thousand dollars. the hamiltons don't own the truck. it belongs to mr. hamilton's employer. so the theft really affects them. they don't want this to jeopardize his job. >> his company that he works for, they're really good to him, and it was just a courtesy that he could bring his truck home at night, and we felt we were obligated to try to find out who was doing it and to put a stop to it. >> so the hamiltons set up a surveillance camera outside their home, determined to catch
the thief. and sure enough, like moths to a flame, it seems bandits back, and the images are crystal clear. >> we saw them running up the yard, the lights -- the motion lights went on, and we just started watching them pull things off. >> she immediately turns the tape over to the police who released the tape to the local media. >> when the surveillance tape was ran in the local news media, we immediately started getting calls, and then a couple of them then with the local police department said, "i saw myself on the news, and i'm here to turn myself in." >> four teenagers are charged as adults with felony theft. two plead guilty and are sentenced to boot camp and a year of probation. the other two enter no plea and are awaiting trial. >> the surveillance tapes are great evidence. it's just a little bit tough, even for a seasoned criminal, to lie about whether or not it's him in that tape. >> pam feels good about setting
up the camera and has a message for teens who think they can get away with even a little crime. >> be careful what you do. you might be being taped. you just never know who's watching you. and don't come to my house anymore. coming up -- >> i was outraged. >> a 16-year-old girl lured to a house of horror. >> you look at the animalistic behavior, the pack mentality where they just beat her and beat her and beat her. >> yeah, baby. ooh, yeah. >> and they film the entire assault, a video that shocks the nation when "caught on camera: teens gone wild" continues.
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brooks has been arrested in connection with the uk hacking scandal. she'd just resigned from her position in the media empire due to her connection to that case. back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. the story took the country by storm. an unsuspecting teen lured to a house of horror while two teenage boys stand as lookouts. the girl is badly beaten. but if that isn't terrifying enough, the attackers videotaped the assault, hoping to post it on the internet for their 15 minutes of fame. well, they got fame all right, and some may even get a jail sentence to go with it. this is what the world saw, 16-year-old victoria lindsey, or tori, as her friends called her, being punched, kicked and cursed at in the home of her friend, mercedes nichols.
>> ooh, yeah, baby. ooh, yeah. >> the beating is an ambush. tori had spent a week at nichols' place in lakeland, florida, because she allegedly is having problems at home. so why would mercedes and five other girls turn so viciously on tori? polk county sheriff grady judd. >> this all erupted as a result of our victim supposedly trash talking these other girls on her myspace account and through text messages. >> you can hear one of the girls talking about the myspace messages. >> no, you said that, tori. i have the message on myspace. still! >> tori, you're lying. i read it. >> you talk [ bleep ] on myspace all the time. >> yeah, yeah. >> according to court documents, tori tells prosecutors she believes the brutal attack was because mercedes was also angry at her for borrowing a hairbrush and a razor from the house without telling her. it may sound unbelievable, but it apparently sparks this beating and sets it in motion.
>> why did you [ bleep ]. don't [ bleep ]. >> the assault takes place over a span of 30 minutes. at one point on the video, tori pleads with her attackers to let her leave the home. >> uh-huh. you're not leaving. >> let me leave! i'll go home. >> no! >> but they refuse to release her and continue the vicious assault. >> don't ever [ bleep ]. why don't you like her? why don't you like her? don't act -- >> adding to the brutality of the beating is the fact that someone's videotaping the entire scene. the attackers are not only beating the victim but playing to the camera. the girl holding the video camera says to the others, as if she were directing a motion picture, to make it good. >> make this 17 seconds good. come on. bleep [ bleep ] >> after a half hour of this torture, tori is finally released and driven to meet another friend who describes her as having blood in her mouth, a
big knot over her left eye. tori's rushed to the hospital. she suffers a concussion, bruising and damage to her left eye and ear. the police are called, and eight teens are arrested. six girls who were inside the home and two guys who stood outside as lookouts. the sheriff's department releases a snippet of the videotape, and it becomes breaking news. >> let's begin with that ambush in florida. >> eight florida teens, the youngest just 14. >> they posted a savage beating on youtube. >> all eight are accused of kidnapping and battery in the beating attack on a 16-year-old. >> matt lauer from nbc's "today" show interviews christina garcia, the mother of mercedes nichols, about the beating. >> what about the actual beating on tape? do you think this has been overblown? >> i didn't say that. mercedes, my daughter warned this girl before she came into the house. the two girls that you have been running your mouth about over myspace and threatening are in the house. please do not go in the house. >> relatives of the other suspects also speak out.
>> she is a very good person, and she's my baby girl, period. >> if y'all saw the video, it was a one-on-one fight. there was no gang beating. it's our sheriff trying to show boat, is all it is. >> sheriff grady judd doesn't buy it. he says that videotape speaks for itself. >> i was outraged. i mean, when you look at the violence, when you look at the animalistic behavior, the pack mentality where they just beat her and beat her and beat her, and the reality of it is, the piece that you're seeing on television is after they knocked her unconscious and she regained consciousness. there's a lot more to that beating than just that two or three minutes of tape that we have. >> he also believes certain websites enable this type of behavior. >> i challenge you that you could go onto youtube right now and find beatdown videos. now, maybe those are staged by kids to look cool, but look what it's promoted in this particular incident with tori.
virtuality is reality, and a lot of them are trying to star on their own reality shows picking up their 15 megabytes of fame. >> she says they sometimes think posting video on the internet makes them popular. >> now the kids rank their popularity based on how many people visited their page. it's page views. it's ratings where people can rate your video. >> but this video won't win these teens any popularity contests. instead they face serious criminal charges. >> they're all charged with felony battery, and they're all charged with false imprisonment, >> eighteens are originally charged with battery and false imprison m. prosecutors eventually drop the charges for three of them, kara murphy, ashley and zachary, because of insufficient evidence. others aren't so lucky. brittany hartcastle, described by witnesses as the main attacker in the video, pleads
guilty to false imprisonment and battery. she is sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years of probation. >> we may have our differences but no one deserves that kind of treatment. >> prosecutors offer to drop false imprisonment charges against april cooper and brittany mays if they agree to plead guilty on misdemeanor battery charges. all accept and are sentenced to a year of probation. prosecutors say mercedes nichols partially arranged for the fight to take place. she pleads guilty to battery and tampering with a witness. she's given three years' prodags and 100 hours of community service. as for tori lindsay, she is recovering from the ordeal. >> coming up -- >> if you so much as sneeze, i'll split your [ bleep ] throat. >> a video shows a teenage girl tied up, bound and apparently in fear for her life. >> if you scream and fight, we're going to kill you now. >> those filming call it an innocent prank.
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hi. >> okay, i have a question for you. you just said "hi." but if you had one thing to say, if this was your last day on earth, what would it be? >> no one who has seen this video has likely forgotten some of these images. >> john, jimmy, smile and say hi. >> hi, mom. >> those are my boys. >> mom, look at me. i'm going to be a little bit late for school today. i was too busy, you know, getting and killing some girl. >> you are about to see a dark and disturbing drama that will end in a shallow grave. >> we're burying you alive. you are going to die. >> her eyes glow because of the setting on the camera. what you're seeing on this
video, is it a kidnapping? a crime? or were these actors in a sick, amateur movie, a movie this young woman was acting in? >> are you starting with me? dude, i'm blushing. i appreciate that. >> killer number one. thank you, i'll be here all weekend. >> killer number one. the driver. jimmy. >> trav is travis payea, part of a group of young men who rented this dingy party house in flint, michigan. 19-year-old danielle taylor is a cashier for a fast food restaurant. she comes over late one night in 2002 to visit travis. suddenly, she is wrestled to the ground. >> jimmy, hold her. >> her hands and legs bound. travis payea is behind the camera. >> what the [ bleep ] did i do? >> nothing. see, that's the thing. if you did something, everybody would know we had motive to kill you. just [ bleep ] sheer murder. >> murder. for the next 35 minutes on the
tape, danielle is told over and over again that she's going to die. >> a half an hour from now, you'll never feel another thing. enjoy that pain. it's the last thing you'll ever feel. >> danielle is blindfolded. >> if you even so much as sneeze, i'll slit your [ bleep ] throat. >> and about 15 minutes into the tape, she's led from the house to the back seat of a car, and now travis has a kitchen knife. >> i'm talking about emotional pain. think about it. you think physical pain means anything compared to what you're going to be thinking? the second this knife digs one inch further into your [ bleep ] neck? >> travis' pal, jonathan cockerill, is now holding the knife dangerously close to danielle's throat. she's been asked what she would like to say to her family. >> what about your family? >> how much i love them. >> how much you love your family. >> how much i love my mom and i'm going to miss her. and i'm sure she's going to miss
me, too. >> it's now just past midnight. after being driven down a dark road, danielle is taken out of the car and carried like a sack into the snow-covered woods. travis, who just an hour earlier danielle considered a new friend, continues to narrate as they approach what looks like a predug grave. >> we're going to set you down. as soon as you say one word i promise you [ bleep ] you won't say another. we're giving you the chance, for what it's worth, to enjoy what you have left. >> then they start to fill the grave. >> we're burying you alive. you are going to die. you scream right now, we bury you half alive. >> and then with only minutes left on the tape, travis leans over danielle, still handcuffed, legs still bound and shivering from the cold, and takes off the blindfold.
danielle is not killed. >> i survived, and i'm freezing, and my arms hurt. >> in fact, that night she returns to the house with the group. but at a doctor's appointment the next day, the doctor notices abrasions on her wrists. she tells him what happened, and he calls police. danielle then goes back to the party house and retrieves the tape. within 48 hours, the county prosecutor has charged four young people with the kidnapping and assault of taylor. if convicted, they face anywhere from seven years to life in prison. >> i have never had a case where alleged defendants tape their own alleged crimes. i can't explain criminals. in fact, there are television shows, "america's dumbest criminals." this appears to be right down that alley. >> the accused are 20-year-old travis payea, a horror film buff who plays the most prominent role in the video, 20-year-old
jimmy carlisle, who early on in the video helps push danielle to the ground, 19-year-old christina lumm. she drives the car to the so-called grave site. and 20-year-old jonathan cockerill, who is seen on the tape tying danielle up and later holding a knife to her in the car. they all claim it was a joke. they were making a movie, and danielle taylor was a willing participant. but danielle taylor tells police that she thought she was going to be killed. >> that's what we alleged, it was against her will, it's illegal. if you're in a fraternity and you know you're going to be hazed and you go into it consensually, you know, some strange things are going to happen, and they go crazy, it's not a crime. if you're in a hockey game and you get your teeth bashed in, it's not a crime. you've consented because you know that type of behavior is apt to occur. it's where you've been given no warning that you're going to be confined against your will, threatened with a knife, it's criminal. >> the chief state police psychologist agrees.
>> my conclusion had been, based upon the totality of the video, that the victim was not a willing participant. she displayed behaviors throughout the video that are typified by victims of terrorism. >> you move, you make one [ bleep ] sound or movement, you'll die right then. >> i counted no less than nine direct threats to her life as a consequence for her not cooperating. >> but friends and fellow students insist it was a prank. these people are friends of jonathan cockerill's. >> jon is real big into horror movies. >> yeah. >> horror movies are easy to make. they're cheap. >> i thought it was funny that jon couldn't couldn't keep a straight face through this whole thing. >> lawyers chris and dan am broez represent travis payea and jimmy carlisle.
>> she would have kicked them in the face, pushed them away. it would have taken two people to tie her legs up, but they do it without any difficulty at all. >> turn it down a little bit, guys. >> look at the knife carefully. it's entirely covered in scotch tape so that it doesn't injure her in any way at all. >> but the other side doesn't buy it. >> these people were performing a very illegal, unethical experiment to get into the mind and thoughts of someone who believes that moment they're going to die. >> where's the [ bleep ]? i didn't come over here tonight. >> the tape speaks for itself, and the jury and the state will be able to see that tape and make their own determination. >> a jury never gets the chance. following a plea bargain, travis payea, jonathan cockerill and james carlyle all plead no contest to attempted kidnapping and felony assault. and christina lumm pleads no contest to attempted felony assault.
they are sentenced to the time they've already served in jail, about 60 days plus probation. travis payea gets the toughest sentence, three years' probation. but just two months before it was to end, in april 2006, payea is found dead at a friend's house. he was 24. his family never reveals the cause of his death. coming up -- >> [ bleep ]! >> do you have a street address for me? >> oh, crap. dude, i'm so scared. these kids, i don't know why they're doing this to me. >> we saw people being stomped, people being hit with hammers. >> [ bleep ]! >> people being kicked in the head. it was horrific. >> when "caught on camera: teens gone wild" continues.
in the summer of 2003, just ten minutes beyond the neon lights and the lavish hotels of the strip, a group teenagers calling themselves the 311 boys held knockdown drag-out fights. >> [ bleep ] >> these graphic pictures of kids beating each other to a pulp are solely for entertainment. their intended audience, the internet. the setup is eerily similar to the 1999 flick "fight club" starring brad pitt and edward norton. but this is no hollywood movie and what makes these fight tapes so shocking is that these teens appear to be well cared for kids from anywhere, usa. clark county district attorney chris lawrence. >> i was really struck by the -- just the abject disrespect and disregard for human life. we saw people being stomped, people being hit with hammers. >> [ bleep ] >> people being kicked in the head. it was horrific.
and it was terrifying. and it terrified me. >> get this. >> [ bleep ] >> these are kids who are addicted to violence. >> get him! get him! >> and who are fighting for the sake of that high that it brings watching that fight. >> what gets the d.a.'s attention that summer can a horrifying story about tanner hanson and the night he encounters the 311 boys. >> this is where it all started. >> july 18th, 2003. tanner hanson has just wrapped up his junior year in high school and is enjoying all the graduation parties with his friends. on a warm saturday night, tanner drives to this park where he meets his best friend craig. some girls show up. and one of them suggests going to a party. another friend winces at the idea. but the group decides to go anyway. that's a decision tanner now wishes he had never made. tanner's friend craig. >> a lot of kids were coming in. some of my friends that i knew, and i was just like, oh, we
don't have to worry about that. there's no problem. >> the group seems to be having a good time. but then without warning, says craig, the mood at the party changes. people they don't know are staring at them, one in particular. >> i've never been stared at like that. >> they decide to leave, but as craig and tanner head for craig's truck, that intense stranger and a whole group of boys follow them. >> he came up to the window. we would ask him if we could leave. they said just -- they were saying stuff look get out and take your ass beating like a man. >> i knew that these guys were serious and they're not -- they're not joking around. they're not -- they're not here to just have a fair fight. they're here for, like, blood. >> that's when craig decides to call 911 for help. >> 911 emergency. galliano. do you have a police, fire or medical emergency? >> it's the police. i'm at this -- i don't know, i didn't realize it was a party,
but i came down here and these guys are trying to start a fight with me. >> but craig and tanner don't know the exact address of where they are. so 911 can't direct the police to them. >> do you have a street address for me? >> no. i'm not quite sure. >> 9209 something. >> 9209 something. i don't know. >> that doesn't help me to get police out to you, sir. >> crap, i'm so scared. these kids, i don't know why they're doing this to me. >> and boys surrounding the truck are riled up. and then out of nowhere, someone reaches into the truck and begins punching craig in the face. the scene escalates, and craig tries to drive his truck out of the area. but a group of kids start throwing rocks at the car. >> and then i just see, like, a big object just flying towards my window so i just dodge. i hear, like, these two, like, bangs. and it was -- it was so loud. like the glass hit my face, hit everywhere, was in my hair. and then finally i looked, looked over, and there's tanner
just bleeding everywhere. >> the rock has all but crushed tanner's face. he is in the hospital for months, and doctors say a blow like that could have killed him. he is lucky. then, as tanner struggles to recover, the police investigators find the tapes and the d.a. learns of the 311 boys. >> in ten years i have been a prosecutor, i've handled murder cases, i've handled hate crimes, sexual assault cases, i've done the whole gamut. i have never seen a case where the people glorified in violence more than this case reflected in the tapes. they just lusted after it. it was such a fix to them. >> you try to jump on me? [ bleep ] dude. >> he studies the teens' behavior in the tapes and is surprised the case involving the 311 boys hasn't landed in his office sooner. >> it's not surprising what happened to tanner hanson. i'm not surprised it escalated to that. in fact, i'm surprised we don't have a dead body.
i'm surprised that someone wasn't killed. >> and with that the d.a. makes a serious decision. he has nine boys at the party arrested as 311 gang members and charges each of them with attempted murder. >> is your plead not guilty to all 13 counts? >> yes, sir. >> all plead not guilty to all 13 accounts. >> the suspect prosecutors describe as the ip city gator. >> steven, who recently graduated from high school, stands accused of being the ringleader in the violence. he vehemently denies he had anything to do with it, and he insists he's never heard of the 311 gang. >> until i was charged with this, until i was being charged and labeled and accused of 311 gang members, i never -- i don't even think i ever heard twice about 311 before i was even charged with it. >> as for connecting the fight tapes with what happened to tanner hanson, that, the defendants claim, is an invention, created by the
district attorney and overblown by the media. they say the fights were arranged and staged. >> angelo, the italian stallion! and random mexican man! three, two, one! >> but the d.a. says the fighting, the videotapes and the attack on tanner hanson are all tied together, that the 311 boys created atmosphere of violence that escalated into the car chase and the punches and the rock attack. at a jury trial, gaisley and the other defendants take a plea deal in exchange for admitting their guilt for a reduced sentence. >> i had nothing to do with it. >> one defendant, scott morris, doesn't take the deal because he said he's not going to admit to something he didn't do. he is found not guilty. for the others who take the plea deal, the judge pronounces their sentences. they're all hoping to leave the courtroom free on probation. but that isn't to be the case. >> would you please stand? it is hereby ordered that steven
gaisley is sentenced to to a minimum term of 24 months. >> the judge has not taken the d.a.'s recommendation for probation. instead, he is harsher. steven gaisley and three co-defendants who either admitted to throwing rocks or punching one of the victims are sentenced to one year in county jail to be followed by one year of house arrest. >> i have heard a lot of people say this is just testosterone or this was just the result of people at a party and these things are going to happen. this conduct went beyond that. they wanted a confrontation. they wanted a fight. and everybody knew it. >> to some teens, using the latest video camera or cell phone to record fights and attacks may seem cool, but what these teens may not know is that these violent acts can be criminal. tapes used in court can be effective evidence, leading to prosecution and possible jail time. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer