Videotaped Beating Prompts Investigation into 'Non-Interference' Policy

Guards watch as teen is beatenABC News
Guards watch as four allegedly assault a 15-year-old.

The 15-year-old girl whose brutal beating in a public bus terminal was caught on tape told Seattle investigators that she thought the three security guards who stood by and watched would protect her.

"I went to the security and told them that these kids were trying to jump me," the girl said in her statement to investigators that was obtained today by "I know that I am about to get jumped and I am hanging around the guards to try and get protection."

"I thought the security guards would defend me," said the victim, whose name is being withheld by because she is a minor.

VIDEO: A teen is beaten in Seattle while three security guards do nothing.Play
Security Guards Under Fire in Teen Beating

The security guards, who are contracted out by Seattle's Metro Transit, are civilians who are ordered only to "observe and report" and not to interfere in violent altercations.

As so many saw in a widely viewed videotape, the security guards in neon yellow vests did not intervene, although they did call 911.

In the chilling surveillance video that caught the assault on tape, the victim is seen being jumped from behind by another girl in front of the trio of burly uniformed guards.

Guards watch as teen is beatenPlay
Raw Video: Girl Beaten as Guards Look On

As the victim falls to the curb of the Westlake Center transit terminal, she is straddled by one of her assailants and then surrounded by other teens who start robbing her of her belongings.

One security guard can be seen standing directly over the victim as she is stomped and then kicked in the head by a teenage girl.

With the three guards standing there, the teenager who kicked the victim in the head, walked casually away.

Despite the viciousness of the attack, the victim suffered only scrapes and bruises, as well as the loss of hair from it being pulled out.

The King County Sheriff's Office and Metro Transit said they are "horrified" by the assault, and have begun an investigation of the robbery and beating as well as the contractual obligation the officers have to not become involved in altercations.

"I am appalled by the sight of uniformed guards standing by while a person was kicked and beaten," said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who ordered the review.

Beating Victim Says Seattle Police Also Ignored Pleas for Help

Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond echoed Constantine: "The events surrounding this incident are troubling, and the video images distressing."

But it's not just Metro Transit that is coming under fire after the assault. The victim is also accusing Seattle police officers of not doing enough to prevent the attack from happening in the first place.

The altercation first began at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 28, inside a Macy's and then later in a Nordstrom's department store in the Westlake Center, a mall in downtown Seattle.

When an 18-year-old male member of the group got "in the face" of the 15-year-old victim and threatened to kill her, the group was asked to leave the store by police.

Those same officers, the victim claims, refused to escort her to the bus terminal even though she said she told them she feared she was about to be attacked.

"I asked them to take me to the tunnel and they said they couldn't because they didn't have time for kids who started trouble," she said. "The same group that wanted to fight me came up to me right in front of the officers. The officers were just standing there looking around."

Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a Seattle police spokesman, told that the officers could only do so much before a crime was actually committed, and had told the victim and her friend to go home and get away from the assailants at least two times before the attack occurred.

"The officers were aware of several verbal disturbances in the area, some of them that included this victim and the would-be assailants," said Whitcomb. "The officers separated the groups and instructed all parties to leave the area, especially making note to the victim that it would be wise to catch a bus and go home so she'd be free from any harassment."

"Ultimately, had the officers known what the outcome would be, they would have absolutely just called a cab for the victim," he said. "But when no crime has occurred, officers' abilities to take any further action are severely curtailed."

One Alleged Assailant Has Pleaded Not Guilty

During the assault, some of the assailants stole the victim's purse, book bag, cell phone and iPod, according to police.

The 15-year-old girl who is accused of the assault pleaded not guilty today to attacking and robbing the victim. If she's convicted, she faces up to 2 1/2 years in juvenile detention, according to ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV.

Three others who have been arrested have also been charged with first-degree robbery and will be tried as adults in King County Superior Court later this month.