Mom says 11-year-old daughter with autism attacked by adults, teens

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The video is so violent, the victim’s mother has a hard time watching it.

Joyce Swann said the three separate clips, captured on cell phones, show her 11-year-old daughter with autism being brutally attacked by two older teenage girls.

“I was hurt. I was angry. I was upset. I was mad,” said Swann.

She said her young daughter has been bullied before, because the autism affects her ability to communicate normally.

“She mimics people,” said Joyce, “But she doesn’t mean no harm, because she doesn’t know how to really communicate with people period because of her autism.”

It’s unclear what led to the fight, but Joyce said the older girls have taunted her daughter in the past.  She said she told her daughter to avoid them.

And then Saturday, the child was attacked not far from their home inside a Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority complex on East 66th Street in Cleveland.

The graphic video shows the 11-year-old being knocked to the ground and when her 9-year-old sister tries to intervene, she is also dragged across the crowd.

At one point, one of the older teens is on top of the 11-year-old and seems to be choking her while the teens' adult mother is cursing and cheering.

The mother seems to repeatedly say “get her” and “beat her” up.

The video also seems to show the attackers' mother and adult friend helping the older girl hurt Joyce’s daughter.

Joyce said, “She had her knee in her throat – held my daughter's hands down so she could punch her repeatedly in her face.”

CMHA police are investigating the attack and say a number of charges could be filed against both the adults and teens seen in the video.

Joyce is also hoping for a transfer to another complex because she said she no longer feels safe at home.

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