The family of an 18-year-old man with mental health challenges who was reportedly held captive and abused by four people in a now-infamous attack broadcast on Facebook live has spoken out, asking the public to pray for “all those involved.”
The brother-in-law of the victim spoke on behalf of the family following the arrest of the four individuals allegedly involved, thanking the public for prayers and for the teen’s safe return, WMAQ-TV reported.
“We’re fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders,” David Boyd told media on Thursday night. “At this time we ask for continued prayers for all those involved and for our family’s privacy as we cope and heal.”
As for the teen’s condition in the wake of the attack, Boyd said he’s doing “as well as he could be” in light of the circumstances at hand. The victim’s grandmother also spoke out about her disbelief over the entire ordeal.
“I just can’t believe anybody would do that to someone, especially a special needs child,” Sally Sacksteder told WMAQ-TV. “This is going to affect him for probably the rest of his life.”
Sacksteder said she wouldn’t watch the video, as she doesn’t want to see the young man “suffering.”
The family’s comments came as a GoFundMe account posted in support of the teen — whose name has not been released — raised more than $50,000 in just one day (as of Friday afternoon), blowing past the initial goal of $10,000, which was set when the account was created.
“Let’s take an opportunity now to show this young man and his family some financial support during this difficult time of recovery and let him know there are many out there that are here for him,” reads a description of the fundraiser. “Let’s prove to him that there is far more good in this world than the evil he experienced.”
As Faithwire previously reported, the teen with special needs was allegedly bound and beaten, while at least 30 minutes of the assault was streamed on Facebook. One of the accused reportedly said “F— Donald Trump” and “F— white people” during the assault, which is said to have included a knife cutting into his scalp.
Police have arrested and charged Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington — all aged 18 — along with 24-year-old Tanishia Covington with a number of purported offenses, including a hate crime, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, among other charges, the outlet noted.
(H/T: WMAQ-TV )
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