Woman arrested in salon beating case

June 18, 2009 6:33:54 AM PDT
Oakland Police have arrested a woman for the videotaped beating of a salon owner. The woman at the center of the attack has been held at Santa Rita Jail since Monday afternoon, but police told ABC7 that they expect to release her Wednesday night without filing any formal charges.

They have issued arrest warrants for three other people involved in the incident.

One of those women videotaped the beating and posted it on YouTube.

It was one of the more disturbing videos we've seen -- several women enter an Oakland beauty salon, bar the door, and attack the salon owner. Two of the women take turns punching and kicking Melissa Seals, while a third videotapes the attack last month.

The titles on the video imply that Seals was beaten for "talkin' too much". And, two women who claim to have carried out the beating called radio station KMEL last week to say they targeted Seals: "Yeah, maybe we're wrong for going about it the way that we did, but she deserved every bit of that for the sh-- she talked about. When you're mad you react differently when you're mad and we handled it maybe the wrong way. But we're glad we did it, because she, she exploited our business to her clients." The women claim Seals talked about their sexual activity to their parents and other clients of the salon. But, Seals told us a former boyfriend is behind the attack, that she spotted him watching the beating through the window of her salon. Seals says she has filed for restraining orders against her attackers and the ex-boyfriend.

This raw video has gone viral, getting more than 223,000 hits since we posted it on our Web site last week. Melissa Seals says she's been amazed at the outpouring of attention from across the country and around the world. Her Facebook and MySpace pages have been flooded with messages and new friend requests. "I had 64 pages of friend requests on Facebook," she says. "I had so many pages of requests on MySpace that I couldn't even approve all the people ... too many to count."

Most of the emails have been supportive, she says. "Everybody says you know, 'I'm sorry about what happened to you. It was wrong. They will get theirs. We want justice for you.' Things like that." One email came from Afghanistan. "He just pretty much said he was praying for me."

RAW VIDEO: Salon beating (Warning: Violence and strong language)

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