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Debbie Piscitella "snaps," chokes boy over Facebook comments

10:32 AM, Jun 4, 2012   |    comments
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Written by
Melanie Michael

St. Petersburg, Florida (WTSP) -- Debbie Piscitella is heartbroken.

The married mother-of-two, studying to be a nurse, is devastated over a recent turn of events involving her 13-year-old daughter, MacKenna.

Debbie and MacKenna have always been close, and they share a special bond. The two shop together, laugh together and attend concerts side-by-side.

MacKenna posted recent Facebook pictures of the two of them at a concert in Vinoy Park.

It was shortly after when MacKenna approached her mother over cyber-bulling issues, Debbie was floored. "It was disgusting what they were saying about her," the 46-year-old told us. "It made me sick."

A 14-year-old freshman named Jon, police say, made cruel and sexual comments about MacKenna. One of the comments said that the teenage girl was too ugly to rape.

"I'm devastated," Debbie told us. "That's my daughter, that's my baby. She's a good girl, she's an honor roll student. She is so depressed now."

Another comment talked about her performing a sexual act on another boy, sources say. It read, "Tell her to keep sucking d-k."

Debbie was sick over the comments and especially upset about MacKenna's reaction to them. "She wanted to kill herself," said Debbie. "She doesn't want to go do anything. She doesn't want to go out. She doesn't even want to go to her dance."

Then, on Memorial Day, it happened.

Debbie and MacKenna were at Tyrone Square Mall. They were shopping near Sears, and the teen told her mother that Jon was nearby. The girl pointed in the teen's direction, and Debbie took swift action.

The mother, stricken with anger and grief, approached Jon. "I told him to stop saying those things about my daughter, and he kept walking and ignoring me. I just snapped."

St. Petersburg Police tell us that Debbie grabbed Jon by the backpack and began choking him. The incident was caught on surveillance, however the video is not being released to the media.

Jon called his mother from the mall and told her what happened. She asked him if he knew the woman who did this, he said he did not.

In fact, when the teen got home, his mother originally did not want to file charges. However, when she saw his neck, things changed, and she called the police immediately.

A short time later, when Debbie was at home, a police cruiser showed up at her home on 8th Avenue North. Debbie was arrested for child abuse.

Keysha Tipton, Jon's mother, was furious with what she saw on her son.

She told us, "I don't care who you are, if you're an adult, you don't put hands on a child. "

In looking back at the situation, Jon's mother says she wishes that Debbie would have talked with her directly.

"I wish that somehow they would have tried to contact us. Cause then it would have been easier to not have this blow up into this huge thing. If my son said things he needed to apologize for, I'd make him apologize."

Jon says he's willing to apologize, but is afraid it would be too late.

Child abuse is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Debbie, however, does not have a prior criminal record. The state now has 21 days to decide if Debbie will be charged. 


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