The Rock Hill teen who told police last week she had been bullied and beaten by another girl for acting “too much like a white person” has been charged with filing a false report and disorderly conduct/fighting after her claims turned out to be a hoax, police said.
In the initial report to police Thursday, the 16-year-old girl claimed she was bullied on a school bus, then jumped and beaten at the bus stop by another black teen, who is 17. The girl – who described herself to police as a “light-skinned black female” – told police she was bullied because she was allegedly acting too white.
That claim “turned out to be not true,” said Mark Bollinger, spokesman for the Rock Hill Police Department. Police began interviewing the two girls and witnesses on Friday and again on Monday.
A cellphone video of the fight between the two girls – both students at Northwestern High School – contradicts the 16-year-old’s claim that she had been attacked, police said. In fact, the video shows that the 16-year-old started the encounter that turned to fisticuffs by going to the older girl’s home, police said.
The fight took place outside the older girl’s home, the video shows, not at a school bus stop, as the younger girl told police Thursday. Police say the younger girl threw the first punch, but was quickly knocked to the ground, punched and kicked several times. She was injured and required medical attention, police said.
The name of the younger girl has not been released because she is a juvenile. Police charged the older girl, Tonisha Boular, with public disorderly conduct/fighting. She was arrested at school on Monday and later released on bond.
In an interview at her home after school Tuesday, Boular said she is upset that the younger girl instigated the confrontation, then lied about it’s being about skin tone and skin color.
“I don’t like that I got charged when she started it,” Boular said.
Shantay Boular, Tonisha Boular’s mother, is outraged that the younger girl would make up racially charged allegations against her daughter. She is upset that her daughter was arrested at school and charged with fighting after police are now stating that the other girl came looking for a fight.
“This other girl came to our house and started it all,” Shantay Boular said Tuesday. “She plotted it. My baby, she didn’t start all this mess. For (the younger girl) to lie, that’s just wrong. My daughter is the real victim."
Shantay Boular is also upset that her daughter spent several hours in jail after her arrest.
“Nobody called me,” she said. “My daughter is 17, but she just turned 17. I didn’t know anything about her being arrested at school until hours later.”
The 16-year-old admitted to police Monday that she did not tell the “whole truth” about the incident, Bollinger said, and now faces charges in juvenile court.
“There was nothing about race in the incident,” Bollinger said. “It turned out that the confrontation really was over a young man.”
Several teen witnesses who told police Thursday that the 16-year-old had been jumped at the bus stop also had lied, Bollinger said, but no charges have been filed against them.
Shantay Boular said all the teens who lied to police should have been arrested.
“They lied to make it look like something that it wasn’t,” she said. “My daughter didn’t say anything about that other girl being light or white or anything else. The rest of those kids made it all up.”
Tashai Bethea, 19, who lives across the street from the Boulars, said Tuesday that the younger girl came to Boular’s house with others looking for the fight. Bethea said she tried to break up the incident before it became physical, but that the younger girl “reached over me and hit” Tonisha Boular, who “tried to avoid the situation.”
Bollinger said both girls were charged because they had a “mutual combat fight.”
Boular was charged with disorderly conduct because she did not retreat from the fight, he said. While the younger girl threw the first punch, according to a police report, it came only after Boular “engaged in a physical confrontation first” by “closing the distance between the two, enter(ing) a fighting stance and rais(ing) her fists.”
Boular told officers on Friday that while both girls were riding the school bus home on Thursday, she tried to get the younger girl’s phone number because Boular’s cousin thought that the younger girl was cute, according to a police report.
However, on surveillance video from inside the school bus on Thursday, police said, Boular can be heard calling out to the younger girl and “making fun of her,” as well as making “crude comments” about her. Several others on the bus continue to call out to the younger girl, police said in the follow-up report.