Feds join teen beating probe

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

Video of beating went viral shortly after being posted.

ATLANTA,None - The brutal beating of an Atlanta teen has gone viral and now the feds are looking into whether it was a hate crime.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie talked to teen's sister and mother several times and they said he has been crying since the beating happened on Saturday.

They told Lucie he's too distraught to talk about it on camera at this time. They said he was afraid to report the beating to police, but Lucie found out the teen finally spoke with an investigator to help find the men who brutally attacked him.

Surveillance video from the JVC Grocery Deli in the Pittsburgh neighborhood shows the teen dressed in black walking and looking down at his cellphone.

The video shows the teen walking in to the store and coming out about two minutes later. The teen doesn't even know he's being stalked and about to be brutally attacked.

Throughout the video - -- uploaded to worldstarhiphop.com -- you can hear the men yelling derogatory terms about the teen's sexual orientation.

Lucie counted at least eight men in the streets watching out for police. Two of them have their video cameras rolling as the men punch, kick and watch. Then one of the men runs up and slams a tire on his head.

A clerk at the deli was working when the attack happened. He asked not to be identified.

"They were staking it out, weren't they?" Lucie asked.

"Yeah. I don't know why they did that," the clerk said.


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State Rep. Ralph Long showed up at the store while Lucie was there and he said the video spotlights a much bigger issue in the Pittsburgh community.

"These kids hanging here is indicative of a larger problem we are facing in our community. The point system for juveniles, speeding cars, there's no law over here," Long said.

Police have stepped up patrols since the attack.

Investigators said they are doing everything they can to find these self-proclaimed Pittsburgh Jack City Gang members who left a teen injured and hobbling away.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with police Monday and they said no one reported the attack.

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Investigators said they found out about the attack after receiving an email from one of the websites that posted the video.

Federal investigators are also now looking into the beating, trying to determine whether or not the attack could be considered a hate crime.

In a statement from United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, she said, "Combating violent gang activity in our District, including the Pittsburgh community, is a priority of this office, as are any potential civil rights violations based on a person's sexual orientation.

"Along with the Atlanta Police Department, we are working to determine if the actions portrayed in the video violate federal law, including the hate crime statute.

"The actions depicted in the video are appalling and unacceptable in our community, and we encourage anyone with information about this video to contact the FBI or Atlanta Police."


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