NewsCrime Watch


Billings parents concerned about fighting shown in video, police investigating

Screenshot 2023-08-11 at 12.36.22 AM.png
Posted at 1:01 AM, Aug 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-11 12:54:47-04

BILLINGS - Youth violence has been on the rise in Billings for seemingly two years now.

A disturbing video circulating on social media is just the latest example of a problem that parents say has to stop.

A video showing kids fighting was posted on Facebook on Monday.

Billings police say this type of fighting has happened for many years and some incidents draw more attention and concern because of social media.

But they still say it's important to deal with the problem.

A fight broke out at what many say was a birthday party at an Airbnb in West Billings.

"There were numerous men just constantly pounding on this kid to the point where he was kicked in the face and knocked out," said Shanda Wolf, a concerned parent. "After being knocked out, you can see a kid checking his pulse and then smacking him in the face."

Wolf received the video and posted it to social media.

She wants all parents to watch it.

"The reason why I posted it was mainly just for awareness," said Wolf. "These teens know what they're doing. These teens know why they're going to parties. Why are there so many parties with so much violence?"

"Nobody's stepping in to stop it," said Police Lt. Matthew Lennick. "Everybody's holding a cell phone, trying to record it. You've got multiple suspects assaulting one victim. You know, it's not a one-on-one fight. There's nothing fair about it."

Lennick says Billings police have seen the video and officers have identified six people including the victims.

"We know all of the main players in the video," said Lennick. "Everybody that's throwing a punch, everybody that's getting hit. We know some of the witnesses that are just there in the video. They have been identified. I've gotten names for all of them."

When asked if these people may have committed similar crimes, he said: "That's how we identified them."

Lennick would not talk about connections to any other specific crimes.

But the violence is just the latest in a string of incidents.

Last month, several teens were apprehended after an armed robbery in the Scheel's parking lot. And last April, a 20 year old was shot at this carnival.

"There's all different root causes," Lennick said about the youth crime. "Parental guidance and supervision."

The lieutenant says an officer is investigating this latest incident.

As disturbing as it is, the most likely charge at this point would be disorderly conduct since no victim has come forward.

"Any of them that are already in the justice system or have probation officers," Lennick said. "And then it'd be up to them to decide if this affects whatever circumstances they're on from previous offenses."

But for Wolf, charges are just one part of the solution. She says change starts in the family.

"Parents no longer have power, it seems like, and they need to take that back," she said.