CRYSTAL, Minn. - Investigators in Crystal say they're pursuing charges after a video posted on social media shows a physically disabled teenage boy getting attacked.
According to police, the attack happened outside the Target store on West Broadway Saturday morning at about 11:30 a.m. The video shows a group of teens taunting the victim. One of the suspects slaps the victim. Less than a minute later, the video shows the victim turn and walk toward Target in an attempt to get away. One of the teens runs up behind the victim, kicking him in the back and sending him crashing to the cement. The attacker and other teens in the group are heard laughing as the victim shouts in pain.
On Monday, Crystal Police released a statement confirming they are investigating the incident.
The Crystal Police Department is currently investigating what appears to be an unprovoked attack of a young male with a physical disability. The incident occurred on Saturday morning, September 16th outside our Target store located at 5537 West Broadway. The suspects were known to the victim.
A video of the incident was aired on Facebook.
We are working with the victim and his family and pursuing criminal charges against the suspects.
"It was terrible. It's horrible. I have a son. I wouldn't want to see that," said Deputy Police Chief Doug Leslin.
According to Leslin, the victim and four suspects are all under the age of 18. Leslin said the victim at least knew the first name of each of the suspects.
"He's doing fine. I think he was really upset. I think his mom brought him forward after this video kind of exploded," Leslin said.
A video of the incident was posted on Facebook and Leslin said it had been viewed at least 5 million times before it was taken down. The victim told police that after the video ended, the suspects kicked him. According to Leslin, people started reaching out to the Crystal Police Department about the incident on Sunday.
"We need to sit down and talk to all the suspects and find out what their intentions were and what they were doing, what their motivation was. And that's going to help us decide charges. We obviously have an assault of some level. We want to see if there's other charges, as well," Leslin said.
Police said Monday they believe four juvenile suspects were involved. One, a 16-year-old from Columbia Heights, has been arrested and booked on charges of 3rd degree riot and 5th degree assault, according to Crystal police. Police believe the other three live in the metro area. They are being interviewed by Crystal police investigators.
According to police, the victim is receiving treatment for his injuries.
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