Police have arrested a Broward Schools employee who, they said, was captured on cellphone video striking a teenage girl after a fight broke out between opposing girls’ basketball teams at a park in Hollywood.
Hollywood Police officers took 43-year-old Bennett Wyche was taken into custody on Wednesday. He has been charged with battery.
Aliyah, 17, a senior at Miramar High School, said she was playing at the game at an indoor court in Washington Park, Sept. 18. Moments after it ended, she said, the melee broke out.
“That’s when two girls from their team, after it was completely over, like ran back inside from outside and started hitting our players, and that’s how the fight began,” she said during an interview with 7News on Friday.
Aliyah admitted she exchanged blows with one player, but shortly after, the cellphone video captured a tall man hitting her.
“There’s a bunch of girls pulling me by my hair, so once I got loose, I hit one of the girls that hit me,” she said. “Out of nowhere this big guy that I don’t even know grabs me by my hair, cocks his arm back completely and just hits me, and that’s when I fell out.”
The man who hit Aliyah was gone by the time police arrived at the park. The victim said he was wearing a Broward Schools employee shirt.
Aliyah said the man later identified as Wyche should have known better.
“I feel like, as a parent or as an adult, you should be mature enough to be able to stop a fight or try to break up a fight rather than choosing to hit another student,” she said.
The arrest comes two days after Broward County Schools announced they had reassigned Wyche, who works as a security specialist, to a position away from students.
Wyche is being held at the Broward County Jail on $1,000 bond.
A Broward Schools spokesperson said they will continue to work with law enforcement on their investigation.