Four suspects, two men and two women, are in custody awaiting charges, the Chicago Police Department said in a news conference. The suspects and victim are all 18 years old. Neither they, nor the victim, have been identified.
The disturbing footage, which contains strong language, showed the assailants beating the victim and dumping ashes on him. The attackers also slashed the victim’s clothes with a knife and cut his hair so close that it made his scalp bleed.
The suspects, who are black, yelled “fuck Donald Trump” and “fuck white people, boy” at the victim, who is white. It is not clear if the victim was a supporter of the president-elect.
At one point, one of the suspects looked into the camera and addressed the people watching via Facebook.
“If any one of y’all got a problem with this, I’m gonna tie y’all bitch ass up too!” he yelled.
The victim had been reported missing from the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake. When police found him in the city on Wednesday, he was disoriented and wearing shorts, despite the freezing temperature.
“It didn’t seem right,” Chicago Police Capt. Steven Sesso said at a Wednesday news conference.
Officers took the victim to an area hospital, where he is recovering, and later connected him to the disturbing video.
The victim was reportedly an acquaintance of at least one of the suspects. They took him into the city in a stolen van, Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin said. It’s not clear if the victim was kidnapped or willingly went with the suspects.
“We’re still talking to the victim. It’s quite a possibility that it is a kidnapping and that’s certainly one of the charges we’ll be seeking if it turns out to be that,” Duffin said. “But, he’s traumatized by the incident and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point.”
Duffin said the victim was with his tormentors for at least 24 hours and as long as 48 hours.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the video “sickening.”
“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” he said.