Police are on the hunt for a group of teenagers who allegedly planned a videotaped attack on a homeless man and then posted the recording on Facebook.
“Pure evil" is how Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood described the beating. “There was absolutely no reason to do it, other than being mean and evil," he said.
According to Chitwood, surveillance video from a nearby bank shows four teenage boys sitting at the Aronimink Trolley Stop at Burmont Road and Morgan Avenue in Upper Darby back on June 11.
“You can see that they’re planning something in the surveillance video,” Chitwood said. “You see all four of them get up and go through the doorway that leads inside the building where the victim is seated, doing nothing and minding his own business.”
A Facebook video, which investigators say one of the suspects posted, shows a teen briefly speaking to the victim, described by Chitwood as a 58-year-old “semi-homeless man.” The teen then punches the man in the face as his friends laugh in the background.
“He hit him so hard he’s lucky he didn’t kill him,” Chitwood said. “They are bragging about it. You see them laughing. They’re so stupid that they put it on Facebook which is great for us.”
Surveillance video then shows the teens leaving the scene. Police say the victim refused medical treatment.
Chitwood told NBC10 he believes the attack was related to the “knockout game,” which gained nationwide attention last year. The attacks, typically carried out by teens, consist of someone punching a stranger in the head at random. The goal is to try and knock them out cold. Some of the beatings are recorded and posted online for all to see.
“It’s one of those things that we’ve read about it, that we haven’t seen in this area and that’s the knockout punch that was going around for a while,” Chitwood said. “This is exactly what that is.”
Upper Darby Police released a surveillance photo of the teen who they claim assaulted the man. Chitwood said they are in the process of identifying him as well as the other three suspects.
“They’ll be charged with assault, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and conspiracy,” Chitwood said. “We’re working hard and we’re doing a full court press. We’ll get them.”
If you have any information on the identity of the teens, please call Upper Darby Police at 610-734-7684 or the anonymous tip line at 610-734-3439.