CRIME

Florida Mom Instigated Fight Between Daughter, Rival: Deputies

04/21/2015 12:08 pm ET | Updated Apr 21, 2015

A Florida mom is facing various felony charges after allegedly instigating a fight between her 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old classmate.

Tabitha Anne Bennett, 33, was arrested on Friday and accused of being caught on video encouraging the teens to fight while being armed with a knife, WTSP reports.

Bennett allegedly sent a Facebook message on April 12 to the 14-year-old telling her where to meet to fight her daughter, according to the Pasco County Sheriffs Department.

When Bennett arrived at the fight scene, investigators said she had a folding knife in her possession. Bennett allegedly told spectators that no one would be allowed to fight except her daughter and her rival, WPTV reports.

Cellphone videos taken during the fight show Bennett yelling at her daughter to "kick her ass" and "get on top" of her 14-year-old opponent.

At one point, when it looked like Bennett's daughter was losing the fight to the 14-year-old, Bennett allegedly kicked the rival and pulled the girl to the ground by her hair. Bennett's daughter allegedly got on top of the girl at that point, WFLA.com reports.

Bennett has been charged with child abuse, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and simple battery.

According to the police report, Bennett allegedly admitted encouraging the fight, because she wanted her daughter to fight back against a bully.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco disputes that notion.

"There clearly from our investigation was not bullying done to one individual person," Nocco said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "If Tabitha's out there trying to claim bullying, she's lying. She's the bully, and she was charged for it."

The suspect was released Sunday on $10,500 bail, according to the Sheriff's Office.

READ: The arrest report

Tabitha Bennett arrest affidavit

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