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Gang Mom Arrested for Cheering on Girl Fight

Watsonville police say they found a YouTube video of a woman goading her daughter to fight and yelling gang slurs.

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.

Jennifer Squires September 20, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Some moms need to learn how to be better moms. This is really sad.
Shirley Christmore Stroh September 20, 2011 at 03:34 PM
This woman should have to do community service and pay for the days out of school when the school suspended ( at least$350 a day the school looses)the girls! With Mom in jail, who was attending to her gang member daughter? The gang, you got it! Calloing her Mom is so untrue, she isn't!
Michelle Santos September 21, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Gangs are insidious organizations. They rip the hope and promise of youth out of the neighborhoods in which they dwell. It's disturbing to think about the lack of resources available to a kid whose mom is involved in instigating her demise and the difficult future she will likely face.

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