This is just flat out disgusting.
Philadelphia police apprehended four boys ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old on Tuesday who are suspected of beating up a mentally challenged man late last month and posting the disturbing video on social media. Charges are still pending in the case, but since being posted on Monday, the Facebook video, which shows the teens physically assaulting the victim, has been viewed millions of times.
In the slow motion footage, the perpetrators can be seen punching and laughing at the victim, who is seen wearing a “I love Jesus” lanyard. As the man attempts to flee the scene, one of the boys chases him down and lands another punch.
Philly.com has identified the victim as 38-year-old Mark Smith, an employee at the Cheltenham ShopRite. Authorities believe Smith was targeted because of his disability.
“Obviously, the video is very disturbing,” said Philadelphia Police Captain Malachi Jones. “It appears this male, who is 38 years old, was targeted because he is mentally challenged. It’s a senseless act of violence.”
Smith’s co-workers describe him as a “beloved member” of the team, who “has a very nice personality and disposition.” Jeffrey Brown, the owner of the local ShopRite, said his employees are distraught over the attack.
“They’re very young boys, but obviously they have issues that have to be dealt with as a society, because who knows what will happen next if that’s how they treat people,” Brown said. “Mark is not confrontational. He’s just nice. So why do that to him?”
Action News reports that police believe the incident occurred on Memorial Day at the corner of Chelten Avenue and Knox Street in Germantown. Neighbors who witnessed the horrid act were said to have provided crucial information that led to the arrest of the four boys. At least of the teens connected to this assault are believed to also be involved in an attack on a school principal involving bricks last Friday.
“To them, they might have thought this was clever, but my message to them and kids in general is to do more constructive things with your time,” the police captain said. “Because you shouldn’t be out there messing with people.”
(h/t The Daily Wire)