Police in Philadelphia are said to be on the hunt for the group of teens who were seen punching a mentally disabled man in the face in a disturbing viral video, according to the New York Daily News.
An alleged associate of the victim, Gerald Andrews Sr., reportedly shared the 30-second graphic visual to his Facebook last week, which features the individual, whom Andrews noted as “Mark,” being approached by five young men outside of a business in the Germantown section of the east coast city.
“The 30-second video, recorded in slow-motion,” The Philadelphia Inquirer details, “shows [Mark] smiling and apparently distracted, as a young teen boy [quickly] moves in from behind and punches him hard on the left side of his face.”
A visibly stunned Mark is then seen grabbing his cheek in pain, before another of the teens follow up on the first punch thrown by his ruthless accomplice with a barrage of his own, sending the disabled man cowering into a corner in hopes of protecting himself.
Andrews told the Inquirer he first learned of the attack when he came across the video of it on his Facebook feed from another social media user on the popular website.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he said of the act, after claiming to know Mark as a co-worker from a Cheltenham ShopRite supermarket.
“He’s a good guy,” Andrews went on to say.
“He keeps that smile on his face. He [just] wants to talk sports.”
The footage of the altercation can be seen below. Please be advised that it might be disturbing for some readers.
Throughout the assault, all five teens are seen crudely mocking Mark as they take turns punching him, with one of them callously laughing his head off as the scary ordeal continues for the defenseless disabled man.
“[One of them even] punches the man in the side of the head [as] he attempts to leave,” the Daily News adds.
Sgt. Eric Gripp of the Northwestern Detectives Division in Philadelphia noted to the Inquirer at a press conference that the attack most likely took place last Thursday afternoon near the intersections of Chelten Avenue and Knox Street.
“Obviously, what is depicted in the video is very disturbing,” the law officer stated.
“We would implore anyone who has info on the video, or who knows the identity of the victim to reach out to police.”
Incidentally, another recording taken of a man punching a cerebral palsy sufferer in the face outside of a 7-Eleven several weeks ago in Philadelphia has led to the capture of a repeat offender from Delaware.
Georgetown native Barry Baker was picked up by police in Uwchlan Township on Monday, writers for ABC 6 explain, on charges related to the May 10 attack, which was captured on surveillance cameras outside of the convenience store.
Baker was reportedly arrested for the assault not too long after it occurred, but he failed to appear in court for an unrelated domestic violence matter after first bailing himself out of jail after the assault.
“We’re pleased that Mr. Baker is in custody,” Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Welsh would later express, partly, in a public statement.
Tom Hogan, the district attorney attached to Baker’s case, says that social media was instrumental in bringing Baker to justice.
“Every cop on the street told me that they were looking for this defendant,” Mr. Hogan said.
“In addition, the public did an outstanding job through social media of getting the word out that the defendant was wanted. Nobody was going to quit until the defendant was in prison, where he belongs.”
Baker’s victim, unlike the teens’ disabled “punching bag,” was able to eventually drive away from his attack and call for police assistance.
[Featured Image by Prathaan/iStock]