Police arrest teen in Vietnam Vet beating attack (UPDATED)

Only two teens out of this group participated in the brutal assault of a Vietnam Veteran last Tuesday.
philadelphia police department

UPDATE: Police arrested a suspect, 15, around 9 p.m. last night.
Investigators have identified all of the teens in the video through tips and witnesses, but
determined that only two of them were involved in the beating. The third
teen who appeared to have piled on was actually trying to pull his
friends off of the man, Lt. George McClay of Northwest Detectives said.

They are now looking for a second 15-year-old suspect, who they will
issue an arrest warrant for if he doesn’t surrender. “School police know
about it and will see him this morning,” McClay said. “Hopefully, he’ll
make it easy on everyone and turn himself in.”

Metro’s original story is below

Police were honing in on six teens caught on camera Tuesday evening brutally assaulting a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran in Olney.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld at the request of police, was walking on the 5000 block of North Fifth Street shortly after 6 p.m. when he passed a group of six teens traveling in the opposite direction. After walking by the man, one of the teenagers turned, ran back up behind him and hit him, causing him to drop. Two or three more teens piled on, punching and kicking him.

Lt. George McClay of Northwest Detectives said that the beating appeared unplanned and, given its severity, he was surprised the man, who works for the Veterans Administration, survived.

“They picked a guy that was walking down the street minding his own business — going to pick his wife up at the bus stop — and these animals decided they were going to attack him for no reason,” he said. “They broke his orbitals and broke his skull for no reason whatsoever.”

Businesses and residents of the corridor expressed concerns about an increasing tide of violence. “I was surprised, but not surprised,” Thomas Jones, owner of Foot Fetish Clothing and Apparel, said.
“I’ve seen other owners leave, get robbed and killed. … You never know what to expect when you come around here.”

“I went away to school for four years, and it seems like every time I come home, it gets worse,” said Kiara Williams, 20, who lives in the house directly behind where the assault occurred. “I feel like maybe the youth around here need more guidance.”

Investigators are asking for the neighborhood’s help, though they have already received an outpouring of support, including a $1,000 reward from the Fraternal Order of Police.

Police ‘getting there’ in finding alleged attackers

Investigators are looking for a group of six black and possibly Hispanic males between the ages of 15 and 18. One was wearing an orange hoodie and jeans.

As of press time, Northwest Detectives were interviewing several witnesses and expected to identify the suspects soon. “We have witnesses,” McClay said. “We’re getting there. We’re putting the pieces together and getting a lot of help from the public. A lot of people are calling us.”

They released surveillance video of the attack Thursday that shows the suspects talking to one another and laughing immediately before the assault.


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