Video of girls' Whataburger arrest spurs controversy

Teen girls share their side of the story

SAN ANTONIO -- A national boycott of Whataburger and a lawsuit against the Bexar County Sheriff's Office could be forthcoming after two teenage girls say they were arrested for no reason.

The arrests of Leilani Green and Vanae Wright at a Whataburger near Converse was caught on cell phone video Friday night. High school kids were gathered at Whataburger after a Judson football game when a fight broke out in the parking lot.  Neither Green nor Wright were involved in the fight. The 17-year-olds were inside the restaurant ordering food when deputies came inside and ordered everyone to leave.

“I was getting up,” recounted Wright during a press conference today. “I said, ‘I'm getting my food together.  I guess I wasn't moving fast enough for her. She just decided to get my hat and throw it to the floor, which was so uncalled for.”

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office points to cell video of the girls taking pictures and putting a hat on as proof they disobeyed an order to leave. The girls say a female deputy seen in the video knocked the hat off Wright’s head. They say Greene simply put it back on Wright’s head. The video also shows the woman deputy throwing one of the girls' food to the ground.

Wright says the woman deputy whispered "you f-ed with the wrong b—ch," in her ear as she was being led into the patrol car. Although the girls, who are African-American, do believe they were wrongly arrested, they do not believe it is related to their race. 

“She is a female; we have gender issues in this world,” says Green. “She was with maybe five other male cops. She wanted to be the alpha.”

In a statement, the sheriff’s office, which insists the deputies involved did nothing wrong, also stated race was not a factor.

“Vanae Wright was arrested for refusing to leave the restaurant when she and everyone inside were ordered to evacuate,” said James Keith, the department’s spokesman. “Leilani Green was arrested after she interfered with the arrest of Ms. Wright. “At the request of restaurant management, both of the young women arrested were issued notices of criminal trespass, prohibiting them from returning to the property.”

“If that indeed happened, we're going to be calling for a national boycott of Whataburger,”  says the girls’ attorney, Daryl Washington.

Washington says he hasn’t contacted Whataburger directly to verify if the restaurant management directed deputies to arrest the teens. He added the manager told the girls they could be inside the restaurant, private property, even after deputies arrived and started clearing the restaurant.

The deputies involved in the teen's arrest never arrested anyone involved in the fight, the original reason they were called to Whataburger.

(© 2016 KENS)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment