A mentally disabled man was allegedly kidnapped, tortured and verbally abused — and the assault was broadcast in a Facebook Live video.
Four Chicago residents are in custody after they were seen in the video, broadcast to Facebook on January 3, berating a young man whose mouth was covered in duct tape. One of the suspects can be seen cutting into the victims scalp with a knife. The attackers can be heard saying “slap him again” and referencing President-elect Donald Trump.
The victim is an 18-year-old mentally disabled man who had reported missing the previous day from Crystal Lake, a Chicago suburb. He was found wandering the Homan Square area wearing shorts on Tuesday evening.
Chicago police said in a press conference that the victim, who lives in a Chicago suburb, was acquainted with one of the four alleged attackers, and that they stole a van in order to transport him to the city. He is believed to have attended the same school as the attackers.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson described the attack as “sickening” and said that the suspects will feel the “full weight” of the law for their role in the attack. The suspects, two men and two women, are all 18 years old and are awaiting formal charges.
The assault has been widely discussed on social media, as some are linking the incident to the Black Lives Matter social movement, though there is no indication that any of the alleged attackers were members of Black Lives Matter. Police said they are investigating the assault as a hate crime.
The victim has not been identified, and is reportedly in stable condition. Police said he was traumatized, and that “it took most of the night for him to calm down enough to talk” to detectives.