The mother seen on a YouTube video apparently encouraging her son to fight was arrested Thursday on charges of felony child endangerment, assault, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She posted the $2,000 bond late Thursday and left the Pottawattamie County Jail.
The video has many wondering why 31-year-old Alisha Hazen of Council Bluffs did not stop the fight that she also is accused of getting involved in. The video got the attention of Council Bluffs police.
Three weeks ago, a seventh-grader and an eighth-grader outside Kreft Primary School in the Lewis Central District fought each other while a number of children watched. No one can understand why the mother stood by and even seemed to get a punch in herself.
The video runs a little longer than two-and-a-half minutes and had more than 600 views on YouTube as of Wednesday evening. It is now evidence in a police investigation.
"There's no cheap shot in fighting," said the student recording the fight as more than a dozen people watched, including the mother of the eighth-grader.
"It made me sick," said the woman who called 911 after seeing it happen. "I don't know how a parent can stand by and watch that happen. I heard a parent telling the kids what to do."
We showed the video to neighbor Julia Davis, who had heard about the fight from her children. "That's the exact opposite of what parents are supposed to be doing. It's really disturbing."
"My nose is already...." said the teenager in the fight.
"He was bleeding and wanted to stop, but his mom said he wasn't stopping," said the woman who called 911. "There's actually a slug at the end of the video." It appears the mom of the bigger kid got a punch in on the seventh-grader and then everyone walked away.
"That's a little disturbing that a mother is not stopping the fight, but egging it on," said Davis.
According to the arrest warrant, witnesses told investigators that Hazen escorted her son to the school across the street from their apartment where the fight took place, and said that she would "bet" on her son that he was going to win.
The 13-year-old student who videotaped the fight told detectives that the mom told her son to pull his opponent's hair and punch him. He also says he witnessed her punching the other boy.
"Disappointed but not surprised," said Kerry Beldin, a UNO assistant professor of social work, who thought immediately about all the youngsters watching and cheering it on.
"Knowing that there is a parent and an adult present and that they aren't intervening -- I think it sends a message to children that if there's not a reason for an adult to intervene, then there probably isn't reason for a child to intervene."
She hopes the criminal charges send a message that this violence is serious business.
Experts we talked with said this would be a good time to share your beliefs and expectations with your children if they should ever find themselves in a similar situation.
Research has shown -- parent attitudes are a strong predictor as to whether children will be violent.
Child endangerment is a felony. If convicted, Hazen could face up to 5 years in prison.
On Thursday, YouTube pulled the video saying, "This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube terms of service."