Victims of Trenton brawl speak; arrests expected

As the teenage victims of a brawl at a Trenton park spoke about the ordeal Thursday, authorities said they were close to making arrests in the beating, which was recorded on a cellphone.

"We could have gotten killed," said Destiny Cooke, 16. "They were stomping on our heads -- grown women stomping on our heads. We're only teenagers. Anything could have happened out there."

Destiny said the fight started after she was playing roughly with another girl at Greg Grant Park Monday, and then Destiny's sister came to her defense.

"I was standing there," said Lajahia Cooke, 17. "It was one on one, and then her sister hit my sister and I was like, 'No.' And then her mom hit me, and her cousin hit me." 

Soon, adults and young people were involved in the melee, which left Lajahia with more than a dozen stitches in her ear. Destiny's hair was pulled out as the girls were punched, kicked and slapped by the crowd. 

A bystander can be heard cheering in the cellphone video of the brawl, but no one stopped the fight.

"You're just as guilty because you sat there and you recorded it, and you knew my daughter," said Laronda Cooke, the victims' mother.

The girls claim that police didn't leave their vehicles to break up the fight, but police dispute this. Mayor Eric Jackson said he is investigating the Cookes' claim.

Jackson, police officials and other city officials held a news conference in the park Thursday, calling the attack "sickening." Police said they have identified the attackers and expect to start making arrests soon.

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