What's Wrong with People?: Girlfights, Tessa

Girl Fights on the Rise

"Today, one in four girls is involved in violence at school or work," Dr. Phil says.

In recent news, a disturbing security camera video surfaced, showing a graphic beating of a 15-year-old girl in Seattle's metro bus tunnel. The footage shows three security personnel simply standing by while the girl repeatedly gets punched in the head and eventually kicked in the head at least six times. When it's over, not one guard bends down to see if the girl needs help. Other cameras record a group of teens fleeing the scene, allegedly with the purse of the unconscious victim.

All three guards have been interviewed about the assault and still have jobs.

The 15-year-old victim, Aiesha Steward-Baker, says not only did security guards not step in and help, but the Seattle police also ignored her pleas. She says before going into the tunnel, the group of kids threatened her on the street, and she begged police officers for help. She says they told her, "Get in the tunnel and go home."

Nancy says, "There are two real issues in my mind. Remember, she asked some cops, not security guards, but cops for help to start with. She was afraid. And they told her to leave, that they didn't want bad kids around, suggesting that she was a bad kid causing trouble. Then there are the security guards down on the platform. Here's the deal with them: No criminal charges. But look at them; they've got on the yellow vests. They're doing nothing! You cannot be charged with not helping. A civilian cannot be charged with a crime. [But] cops are going to face a different standard."

"But what has happened with common sense?" Dr. Phil asks.


Dr. Phil highlights what went wrong and who failed in this case:

  • Victim asked police for help two times
  • Victim asked three security guards for help
  • Result: No help, victim beaten and allegedly robbed

[AD]The guards allegedly say it's policy that they can't intervene. "They didn't even attend to this girl after the beating was over!" Dr. Phil exclaims. "That policy is crap."

Hear statements from the companies involved and see Dr. Phil and Nancy's reactions.

Tessa was 14 when her attack was filmed and then posted online.

After seeing the video, Tessa, now 17, tells Dr. Phil, "It makes me sick to my stomach to see that."

"Was this girl prosecuted in any way?" Dr. Phil asks.

Tessa's mom, Joan, shakes her head no.

"Did you file charges?"

"We tried," Joan says.

"They wouldn't let us," Tessa says.

Dr. Phil is perplexed.

Joan explains, "We got a letter from the prosecutor that said because there were no broken bones and no blood, that they don't prosecute juveniles."

Nancy gets to the point: "Let me break it down for you. It's a very technical legal term: B.S.!"


[AD]Joan says the school didn't do anything about her daughter's assault, until she went to the local news.

Tessa says she didn't even know her attacker. She was friends with the girl who set up the fight.

Nancy says the attacker should've been thrown out of school, especially since the assault was on school property.

In another story, an Illinois mom got so caught up in her daughter's fight, she ended up in jail. Shocking video footage shows two high school girls fighting on school grounds, while a mother cheers her daughter on with encouragement like, "Don't get tired, Baby!"

Dr. Phil turns to Nancy. "I don't get it. I don't get it," he says.

"You know what? Number one: Child custody needs to go right in that home right now " of course, it's probably too late, because that girl is practically grown " and take those children away," Nancy says. She draws a comparison to people who conduct animal fights, like Michael Vick, who served time for his dog fighting ring. "Is it OK to protect animals more than you protect a little girl?"

[AD]Dr. Phil says the mother was invited to come on the show, but she declined because she is facing jail time.

Dr. Phil acknowledges the good job Joan has done in raising her daughter. He tells Tessa to rise above her altercation. "Let me tell you, that reflects very, very poorly on that girl. It does not reflect on you. I truly hope you hold your head high and walk on out of this in your life," he says.