A mother has been charged with two misdemeanors after allegedly being caught on video yelling at her daughter to hit an opposing player, which she did, during a youth basketball game in Garden Grove, California.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that Latira Shonty Hunt, 44, is facing one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one misdemeanor count of battery. If convicted, she faces up to one year in an Orange County jail.
In a video of the attack posted by the alleged victim's mother, Hunt's daughter can be seen attempting a 3-pointer and falling down after a defender made contact with her. The daughter seems to pull the defender down with her, then, as the two walk down the court, a woman can be heard yelling "You better hit her for that."
The daughter follows the order, allegedly from her mother, and strikes her opponent in the throat when she wasn't looking.
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In a statement announcing the charges against Hunt, Orange County district attorney Todd Spitzer called a parent ordering an attack on another player "unconscionable" and promised to charge other parents if the same thing should happen again.
The attorney of the alleged victim told NBC Los Angeles that her family wanted to see both mother and daughter prosecuted and also alleged that Hunt's daughter had been banned from a tournament for attacking two different players on the floor, something he speculated the Orange Country organizers weren't aware of.
Attacker's father is ex-NBA player
The video saw widespread distribution on social media, eventually leading to an apology from the girl's father, former Chicago Bulls player Corey Benjamin. He called the attack a "mistake" and said it was something his daughter "will need to make right."
Benjamin's apology to the alleged victim:
"To the young lady who was punched by my daughter during a youth basketball game, I sincerely apologize to you and I am praying for your complete healing both physically and emotionally," he said. "To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this happened to your daughter as she did not deserve this to happen to her. Finally, I apologize to all of those who have been impacted and hurt by the actions of my daughter as well as those of her mother. I am here for your family and wish only the best for you.
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