Tashiana Haggins-Montgomery, the mother of the alleged victim in the October case, said the beef between her daughter, Tashiyya Haggins, 14, and Gross' 16-year-old daughter, whose name the Daily News is withholding, began on Facebook. Gross' daughter saw a picture of Haggins with the 16-year-old's ex-boyfriend and assumed the two were dating. In reality, the boy is Haggins' cousin, and the photo was taken at a family reunion, said Haggins-Montgomery.
Facebook messages were exchanged between the girls, who are both students at Lincoln High School in Mayfair. According to Haggins-Montgomery, Gross reported to the school on Oct. 23 that her daughter was being harassed by Haggins, who was called to the office. Haggins said that when she showed the messages to school officials, they determined Gross' daughter was the one making threats.
Gross' daughter was suspended, Haggins' mother said.
When Haggins and her friend walked outside the main door later that day, she said, she saw Gross' daughter jump out of a silver Dodge Charger.
"She said, 'Mom, that's her right there!' " Haggins recalled. "Her mom got out of the car and said, 'Sure, you all want to fight over an autistic boy, go ahead and fight.' "
Haggins-Montgomery said the boy is not autistic.
Haggins said she and the other girl "got to fighting" and were "throwing punches" while Gross and her son watched by the car.
Haggins recalls hearing Gross' son say during the brawl: "Mom, don't jump in there, it's not your fight."
Gross didn't listen, Haggins said. "I was beating her up, and her mom jumped in and hit me in my eye," she said. "That's when everyone else started breaking it up."
During the fight, one of Haggins' friends called her mother.
"I hear her girlfriend say 'They jumpin' Tashiyya, they jumpin' Tashiyya!' " Haggins-Montgomery said. "All I can do is panic because I can hear my child screaming 'Her mom, her mom hit me!' "
Haggins-Montgomery said she learned from a police supervisor who responded to the fight that Gross is a cop.
"Even if she didn't want to be a cop that day, she could have been a parent and been like, 'No. You don't do stuff like that,' " Haggins-Montgomery said. "You don't jump in a kids' fight. What gave you the gall to do that? You're a police officer. I'm sure they train y'all on different things like this."
Gross did not return numerous requests for comment. A woman returning a call on Gross' behalf from an anonymous number said attempts to contact Gross were "harassment."
In July, Gross filed a complaint in federal court against the city and one of her supervisors claiming sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. That case remains open.
Gross is on desk duty, but Officer Jillian Russell, a police spokeswoman, couldn't say if the reassignment was a result of this investigation. Russell said the investigation was in the final stages last week. Haggins-Montgomery said she was contacted by an Internal Affairs supervisor on Monday who said she had passed the case along to the District Attorney's Office.
A spokeswoman for the D.A.'s office declined to comment.
Haggins said she wasn't disciplined by the school for the fight.
School district spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed that a student was disciplined for a fight that day in which "a mother brought her daughter to the school to fight another juvenile" and was accused of getting involved in the fight. He would not elaborate.
Back in 2009, Gross was disciplined by the Police Department for a brawl with a woman, Lateefah Savage, while she was on duty in West Philly. She was accused of kicking Savage, slamming her head on the ground and screaming threats, forcing fellow officers to pull her away, witnesses said.
Gross was placed on desk duty, and Savage was charged with assault on a police officer and related offenses. Savage pleaded guilty to simple assault and received four years of probation in the case.
Less could be found out about the ramifications for Gross.
"As far as the complaint from 2009 involving Officer Gross, disciplinary action has been taken," Russell wrote in an email. "The department does not release what the nature of the discipline was."
Gross' Internal Affairs file of citizens' complaints include allegations that she threatened her neighbors and acquaintances and "was using her job" to intimidate them. In one 2012 case, Gross was accused of taking a neighborhood boy along with her children to fight in a playground brawl.
"[The complainant] stated she believes P/O [police officer] Gross provides transportation to neighborhood kids, and may sometimes provoke the fighting," wrote an Internal Affairs investigator.
In one report, 2nd District Lt. Thomas Macartney said he responded to a disturbance in April involving 40 people, including Gross.
"Lt. Macartney stated when he got out of his police car, P/O Gross looked in his direction and immediately turned her back to him, trying to conceal her face. He had the distinct feeling she was trying to avoid him," the report said. "He has known P/O Gross because he has dealt with her on numerous occasions during off-duty incidents where she or her children got involved in disputes."
Gross was found to have violated department policies, but documents don't detail the specific violations.
"Police documentation reveals P/O Gross was in fact present on more than one occasion when groups of juveniles gathered for the purpose of provoking fights with each other," according to the 2012 report.
Haggins-Montgomery wondered how Gross' conduct got to the point where she allegedly punched a 14-year-old girl.
"My biggest fear is she is going to keep doing it because there's nothing being done about it," Haggins-Montgomery said. "I think I would have took it a little better with her being a civilian punching her in the face, but for you to be a cop and to have a history of this is unbelievable."
Despite her anger, Haggins-Montgomery said she doesn't want Gross to lose her job because she has children.
"But Tashiyya wants her fired, and as Tashiyya's mother I have to stand behind my child, because she didn't punch me in the face, she punched my daughter in the face," Haggins-Montgomery said. "My thing of it is, she's 14, so who's to say the next time it's not going to be a child of her size who is 13?"