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Florida police make 2 arrests in bullying case

October 15th, 2013 11:32 am by MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

Florida police make 2 arrests in bullying case

In this Sept. 10 photo, Polk County Sheriff personnel investigate the death of 12-year-old girl, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, at an old cement plant in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/The Lakeland Ledger, Ernst Peters, File)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Two girls were arrested in a Florida bullying case after one of them admitted online over the weekend that she harassed a 12-year-old girl killed herself last month, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said they arrested a 14-year-old girl because they were worried she would continue cyberbullying other girls. The girl is accused of bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who climbed at tower at an abandoned concrete plant Sept. 9 and hurled herself to her death.

Judd said arrested the 14-year-old girl after she posted online Saturday that she bullied Rebecca and she didn't care.

"We decided that we can't leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment, who else is she going to harass?" Judd said.

Police also arrested a 12-year-old girl who is accused of bullying Rebecca. Both have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.

The sheriff's office identified the two girls, but The Associated Press generally does not name juveniles charged with crimes.

Judd said the bullying began after the 14-year-old girl started dating a boy that Rebecca had been seeing.

She "didn't like that and began to harass and ultimately torment Rebecca," Judd said.

The 12-year-old girl was Rebecca's former best friend, but Judd said the 14-year-old girl turned her against Rebecca. Other girls also stopped being friends with her in fear of being bullied, the sheriff said.

Authorities have said Rebecca was "terrorized" by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts.

Witnesses told investigators the 14-year-old girl told Rebecca "to drink bleach and die" and said she should kill herself.

Judd said neither girl's parents wanted to bring their daughters to the sheriff's office, so detectives went to their homes and arrested them.

Judd said the 14-year-old was "very cold, had no emotion at all upon her arrest."


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