A gang fight between high school girls that was caught on video and posted on YouTube led to the arrest of a 41-year-old Watsonville mother this month, because police say she urged her daughter on during the violence and yelled gang slurs at the other girl involved.
Watsonville police released information this week about the fight and subsequent arrest. The department called the mother's actions "particularly disturbing" in a prepared release.
Maribel Rivas was arrested on suspicion of gang participation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and neglecting parental duties. Her daughter and another girl, both Pajaro Valley High students, got citations for fighting, according to police.
A school official notified Charles Johnson, the school resource officer, of the fight on Sept. 13 after seeing the video on YouTube, which has since been removed.
The fight happened off campus, but the school still handled the investigation. During his probe, Johnson watched the video and reportedly saw Rivas encourage the girl to fight and cheer for a specific gang while high school-age kids watched. Eventually, Rivas pulled her daughter off the other girl, told the crowd that was her daughter, and the two left.
Both girls were hurt, but their injuries were not serious, police said.
Rivas was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail.