Pasco Co. woman facing child abuse, assault charges
(MyFoxTampaBay.com) HOLIDAY, Fla. – A Pasco County mother is facing charges after she allegedly organized a fight between her teenage daughter and another teenage girl, investigators said Monday.
Tabitha Bennett, 33, was charged with child abuse and aggravated assault for her involvement in a fight that Sheriff Chris Nocco called a “train wreck.”
“This whole thing is just chaotic and Tabitha Bennett is the center of the chaos,” Nocco said. “We’re absolutely appalled. For an adult that should have been acting like an adult, once again, we see them acting like a child and actually [being] the instigator in the whole incident.”
According to the arrest report, on April 12, Bennett arranged a fight between her 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old girl who, Nocco said, used to live with them.
Detectives said Bennett drove her daughter to the area of Moog Road and Colonial Hills Drive in Holiday, where the two girls fought as several witnesses used their cell phones to record the ordeal.
The sheriff said the mother had a knife and even joined the fight.
“You see Tabitha go up, kick the victim in the side, pull her hair down, basically allowing her daughter to jump on top of the girl to give her the advantage,” Nocco said.
It took several people to break up the brawl.
“I saw how she was acting. I heard what she said and it was ridiculous,” said a witness who goes by the name ‘J-Mac’. “No one realized that that mother was actually an adult by the way that she was acting. I was like, ‘man, that’s an old-looking kid’. No it wasn’t; it was an adult. It was horrible. She should be ashamed of herself; it was absolutely disgraceful.”
“It could have gotten a lot worse,” said Elizabeth Chinchuck, who also witnessed the fight. “Since it is right by a busy road with sidewalks not big enough to even walk on, somebody could have gotten hit, hurt — it just could have been a lot worse than it was.”
FOX 13 went to Bennett’s home but no one answered the door. She reportedly said her daughter was being bullied, but detectives said that is not the case.