A third Delaware teenager has turned himself in to New Castle County Police for his alleged role in the videotaped assault of a 26-year-old mentally disabled man in Newark.
The 14-year-old, who lives in the unit block of Patrick Henry Court in Newark, arrived at NCCPD headquarters early Monday evening. He was charged with offensive touching, assault of a vulnerable adult and conspiracy in the third degree.
On Sunday, police arrested two other Newark teens, aged 13 and 14, on identical charges. Officers are continuing their investigation of the assault, which was posted to YouTube and other social media sites.
The video shows the teens repeatedly punching the man in the head and kicking him while he screams. The victim, whom police did not identify, is said to suffer from a neurodevelopmental disorder.
The initial arrests were made after the two boys and their parents showed up at police headquarters to complain about threatening phone calls they received as a result of their phone numbers and addresses being posted online in conjunction with the video of the assault.
County Executive Tom Gordon complemented the New Castle County Police for their handling of the case. Gordon was pleased with the outpouring of support the victim recieved and cautioned residents not to take justice into their own hands.
“To see how this young man with a mental disability was stripped of his human dignity by cruel and heartless teenagers plunged me into a kind of depression to begin this week,” Gordon said. “However, the quick work of our New Castle County Police patrol and detectives to zero in on the perpetrators assuaged my despair.”
New Castle County Police Colonel Elmer Setting said he hoped the quick arrest of three suspects would discourage would-be bullies.
“The message is that we’re going to lock you up right away if you engage in criminal activity such as this,” Setting said.
Police are asking that anyone with information related to this incident calls the New Castle County Police Department at (302) 573-2800. Tips can also be submitted online at www.nccpd.com.