Ashley Ruffin will not be facing a felony charge but instead will face a misdemeanor battery charge subsequent to a September incident involving juveniles that drew wide attention in Palm Coast and beyond. The State Attorney’s Office Friday filed the charging information on Friday, the same day it dropped the felony charge and requested that the case be transferred from felony court to county court. It has been transferred. (From FlaglerLive)
Update 9-11 Update (10:17 am): A spokesperson with FCSO commented regarding the fight video shared via FB. The video is a separate altercation from the Sports Complex one. “We were made aware of the school fight video late yesterday afternoon (9/10/21) only via FB. At this time, there have not been any charges in regards to the fight Ruffin was referencing in her video, as they did not file any reports when the fight occurred.”
The spokesperson continues that they were unaware of the previous fight and that the school (ITMS) decided to handle the fight internally. ITMS did not notify law enforcement about the altercation. “FCSO was only notified of the altercation at the sports complex when the mother of the victim came forward.”
Update (6:02 pm): The Sheriff’s Office sent a response to Flagler Live regarding the corridor video, “We did not know about that fight until about an hour ago when it was posted,” the Sheriff’s spokesperson said around 4 p.m. Friday, of the fight caught in the video clip.
Update (4:40 pm): Ashley Ruffin live-streamed on Facebook describing the prior events and the altercation on September 8.
Update (4:07 pm): The incident appears to be part of retaliation for a previous beating in which Ruffin’s son was the alleged victim in the Indian Trials Middle School corridor.
First reported by Flagler Live, Miguel Avila, the husband of Ruffin posted a video to his Facebook page which appears to have been taken by another student in an Indian Trials Middle School corridor. The clip has no timestamp or identifying marks of a period of time. The clip clocking in at nine seconds, shows a boy pounding a boy on the floor again and again. The victim in the video isn’t fighting back but is protecting himself.
“This is what happened to my son,” Avila wrote in a note with the video clip. “I was trying to deal with it the right way and they found out that we were pressing charges so they decided to make up some allegations when all we did was break up the fight Ashley was released with no bond or anything no probable cause now for everyone saying they’re a piece about the situation go ahead the truth will surface.”
On September 8, 2021, Indian Trials Middle School School Resource Deputy Cooper was approached by a female motorist, telling the deputy that her son was just in a fight at the Sports Complex. The mother stated that two male juveniles jumped her son and that one of the boy’s mothers also was involved in the assault—assaulted her son during the altercation.
The reporting party stated that the unknown mother had grabbed her son by the hair and arm while the beating continued by the two juveniles.
Deputy Cooper then met with the victim and juveniles. The victim reported that he was with friends when the two other juveniles approached him and started the altercation. He elaborated that one of them started hitting him. He got up and pushed him to the ground when other boys surrounded him and started hitting him. His friends would then come over to aid him. The victim reported that during the altercation, one of the boy’s mothers held him while the boys beat on him.
The parents of the juvenile suspects were contacted by FCSO deputies. One parent was unaware of the incident while the other parent, who allegedly held the child during the altercation, was identified as Ashley Ruffin. FCSO tried to contact Ruffin regarding the altercation. Deputies reached Ruffin’s husband and alerted him that his wife, Ashley Ruffin may be facing criminal charges for her part in the altercation. At this point, Ruffin became “irate” and stated he would file a report about the fight with FCSO. He would not allow his wife or son to speak with FCSO about the insistent.
Other juvenile witnesses confirmed the victim was jumped by the suspected juveniles. All the witnesses also stated that an adult female grabbed the victim and allowed the other boys to continue to hit him. She also displayed a Taser during the altercation. The female was identified as Ashley Ruffin. Ruffin was arrested and transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. She’s being charged with Battery and Child Abuse.
Battery charges have been submitted to the State Attorney’s Office for the other juveniles involved in the altercation.
Ruffin was released on her own recognizance after appearing before County judge Andrea Totten at 9:00 am this morning. She is not under any court orders other than to appear for arraignment on Oct 11, 2021.
Sheriff Rick Staly Comment About Arrest
“There is zero excuse for an adult, especially a parent, to be physically involved in a juvenile dispute,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Kids need to have leadership from their parents and taught how to handle disputes properly. I doubt she will receive a mother of the year award.”