Autistic man robbed, beaten when he ran after alleged attackers he was trying to befriend at a basketball court

A 25-year-old man and a 16-year-old teenager were arrested on Sunday in Florida after they beat and robbed an autistic man.

The unidentified 22-year-old victim said he was just trying to make some friends on a basketball court when one of his attackers accused him of stealing their cell phone. He insisted that he didn’t have the phone, and tried to explain that he had a disability and trouble interacting with people, WFTS reports.

“[I told them ‘Listen, I have a disability. I’m not like you. I don’t act like a normal 22-year-old kid. In my head, I’m like 15, but I don’t know how to interact in other situations like that.'”

The attackers then allegedly beat the man and stole his shoes and cell phone. They took off running, but the victim bravely chased after them.

His attackers then beat him a second time before they got away. He said they kicked him and punched him several times during the attack.

“They kicked me. They punched me several times in the face.”

Shortly after the attack, he flagged someone down to alert police to the attack.

Police caught up to the two assailants not long after. The two were found with the victim’s stolen shoes and cell phone on them.

They were both arrested and charged.

The older man, Terrell Newton, is facing charges of third-degree grand theft, robbery by sudden snatching, and abuse of a disabled adult, according to Daily Mail.

Newton is currently being held in the Hillsborough County Jail on a $6,000 bond.

[Feature photo: Hillsborough County Jail]