Four charged in Chicago over beating broadcast on Facebook

CHICAGO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Four young African-Americans were charged on Thursday with hate crimes in the videotaped torture of a white man with diminished mental capacity after they streamed it live on social media.

The victim, who was not identified, was picked up on Saturday by one of his abductors in a northwestern suburb of Chicago where his parents had dropped him off at a McDonald's restaurant, police told a news conference. The victim and his parents thought he was spending the night with friends, according to the Associated Press.

Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, all 18, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary, prosecutors said.

15 PHOTOS
Man’s apparent torture streamed on Facebook Live
See Gallery
Man’s apparent torture streamed on Facebook Live

A combination photo shows four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues, L-R top row: Brittany Covington, 18, Jordan Hill, 18, bottom row: Tanishia Covington, 24, and Tesfaye Cooper, 18, shown in Chicago Police Department photos released in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 5, 2017.

(Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

#BREAKING: Chicago Police tell FOX 32 that four people are in custody after man tied up, tortured on Facebook Live… https://t.co/J6nUXHzXty

Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin, right, speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 in Chicago, on the hate crime and other charges filed against four individuals for an attack on a man that was captured on a Facebook video.

(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribuen/TNS via Getty Images)

Chicago police call the Facebook Live video attack "a brutal attack on an adult male with special needs" https://t.co/JALyjZ9h36

Jordan Hill, 18, one of four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues, is shown in this Chicago Police Department photo released in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 5, 2017. 

(Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Brittany Covington, 18, one of four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues, is shown in this Chicago Police Department photo released in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 5, 2017. 

(Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Tanishia Covington, 24, one of four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues, is shown in this Chicago Police Department photo released in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 5, 2017. 

(Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Tesfaye Cooper, 18, one of four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues, is shown in this Chicago Police Department photo released in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 5, 2017. 

(Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS)

Four people in custody after Facebook Live video shows a man being tortured. "Fuck Donald Trump" can be heard… https://t.co/b5vxvvJXke

Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 in Chicago, on the hate crime and other charges filed against four individuals for an attack on a man that was captured on a Facebook video.

(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribuen/TNS via Getty Images)

CPD press conference regarding disturbing live social media video depicting a battery ; victim was tied up https://t.co/jDrjfz4sJV

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 in Chicago, on the hate crime and other charges filed against four individuals for an attack on a man that was captured on a Facebook video.

(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribuen/TNS via Getty Images)

Regarding the disturbing video that surfaced on social media of a battery: Incident is under investigation/suspects… https://t.co/zpaCojhZH3
4 charged with hate crimes in torture of teen with special needs in Facebook Live video: https://t.co/10fYzkemao https://t.co/UrLU6C6uT7
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Tanishia Covington, 24, faces the same charges, except for residential burglary. Hill was also charged with robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The victim, 18, was missing for days, police said.

They said Hill was an acquaintance of the victim, and they had hung out together on New Year's Eve, according to the AP. Prosecutors said Hill picked him up in a stolen van. While the victim's parents reported him missing, their son and Hill spent the next two days together, visiting friends and sleeping in the van.

Police in Streamwood, Illinois said the parents received text messages from people claiming to hold their son captive after they reported him missing.

On Tuesday, a "play fight" between the two in the Covington sisters' apartment escalated, Kevin Duffin, a police commander, said at the news conference.

The victim was tied up for four or five hours, gagged and beaten. His scalp was cut and he was forced to drink toilet water, Duffin said.

In the Facebook Live video, the attackers could be heard making comments about "white people" as the victim cowered in a corner, his mouth taped shut.

At least one of the attackers could also be heard saying obscenities about President-elect Donald Trump. Police said they did not know whether the victim was a Trump supporter.

"Let me be very clear, the actions in that video are reprehensible," Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Police officers located the victim on Tuesday after neighbors complained about noise coming from the apartment. He was outside in freezing weather wearing only a tank top, shorts and sandals, police said.

He was taken to a hospital and later released. Members of the public alerted investigators to the Facebook Live video.

The four suspects are due to appear in a Chicago bond court on Friday.

AOL contributed to this report


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.