'Teens and pre-teens' assault, take phone from woman in Lafayette park

(WTHR photo)
Mom Attacked by Teens at Lafayette Park
Lafayette Woman Robbed by Teens

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) - Police are working to identify more than a half dozen teens and pre-teens who harassed and took an iPhone from a Lafayette woman.

It happened when the woman was with her children at a park at Third and Walnut downtown.

Tiffany, the victim, told Eyewitness News her kids were enjoying after-dinner time at the park Wednesday night when "a bunch of kids or groups of kids started to ask my son’s friend could he ride your scooter."

She said the friend responded "can I ride your bike and the boy said F no."

Tiffany was there with her own three kids, 7 and 9-years old, and a younger one in a stroller. She also had a friend’s two children.

In a park where she said she has always felt safe, things start going downhill.

“They came over and bombarded me," Tiffany said, who asked us to use only her first name.

"The one kid, about 16, kept getting off his bike. He kept walking up to my 9 and a half year-old, telling him he was going to knock him out, punch him in his mouth.“

She kept her daughter on the swing and asked the teens to move away. She says that’s when a girl, about 16, “came up and kind of pushed me real hard and scratched my chest at the same time."

When she asked an adult bystander to call for help “she just kind of said ‘no police’ and closed the door,“ Tiffany told us.

Tiffany said the group then followed her to the other side of the park. Four older teens grabbed her iPhone from her back pocket, along with her cigarettes and lighter, then took off. She used someone else’s phone to call police. She later found her phone discarded not far away.

She said the incident put her in fear for her life. She said her son, who stood by her that evening, fears going back to the park. She said she knows of other incidents that have happened there.

“Just beware of the people who are around the parks when you take your children around," Tiffany said.

A teen at the park Thursday told us things should not have escalated as they did the night before. She said it wasn't the intention of the teens involved that anyone be harmed.

Police are still investigating.

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