Attack Of Man With Disabilities Streamed Live On Facebook
CHICAGO — Hate crime charges have been filed against four people shown in a Facebook video attacking a man with mental disabilities, cutting his scalp with a knife and punching him while yelling obscenities about Donald Trump and “white people.”
Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago, Brittany Covington, 18, of Chicago, and Tanishia Covington, 24, of Chicago were charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Hill also was charged with robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and residential burglary, while Cooper and Brittany Covington were charged with residential burglary.
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Sources said Hill attended the same school in the suburbs as the victim.
The victim, an 18-year-old man reported missing by his parents in Crystal Lake this week, is shown crouching in a corner on a video carried on Facebook Live. His wrists are bound and his mouth is taped shut.
As a woman shoots the video, two men cut the man’s shirt with knives, then take turns punching him and stomping his head. One of the men cuts the victim’s hair and scalp with a knife, and it appears the man is bleeding.
As the man crouches against a wall, someone shouts, “F— Donald Trump” and “F— white people.”
The attackers on the video appear to be black and the man appears to be white, though police declined at a news conference Wednesday evening to give the race of the attackers or the victim. The attack appears to have taken place on the West Side.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said investigators believe the man was targeted because he had special needs, not because he was white.
But police and prosecutors still considered hate crime charges because of what was said on the video and because of the victim’s disabilities, he said.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the video “sickening.”
“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Johnson said. “I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see. It still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t.
“I’m not going to say it shocked me but it was sickening,” he said.
The man was found wandering the streets in shorts Tuesday evening in the 3400 block of West Lexington Street in the Homan Square neighborhood, police said. Investigators believe he may have been attacked at a home about a block east from where he was found.
He had been reported missing Monday by his parents who said he disappeared after they dropped him off at a McDonald’s in Streamwood on Saturday, according to police. The man apparently met someone he considered a friend, and then got involved with a group of people who stole a van from Streamwood.
Streamwood police said the parents began getting text messages from someone “claiming to be holding him captive.” As Streamwood officers investigated the texts, they “discovered Facebook video depicting (the man) being verbally and physically abused.”
Streamwood investigators were soon contacted by Chicago police saying they had found the man who had been reported missing, police said. Soon after that, officers were called to a home in the 3300 block of West Lexington about 5:25 p.m. and found signs of a struggle and property damage that they linked to the attack, according to police.
The man was “traumatized” and taken to a hospital.
The four people taken into custody gave videotaped statements, police said.
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