CHICAGO, IL—Four suspects have been arrested in connection with an attack on a mentally disabled teenager that was streamed on Facebook Live.
Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18 and Tanishia Covington, 24, have each been charged with felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, a hate crime and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The video shows the victim sitting in the corner of an apartment, tied up with his mouth bound by plastic. One of the suspects, identified as Brittany Covington, repeatedly turns the camera back to herself as the crime takes place. An attacker is seen slashing the victim’s sweatshirt before cutting his head with a knife, causing the victim’s head to visibly bleed.
A suspect can be heard shouting “F— Donald Trump,” and “F— white people,” throughout the video.
Hill, Cooper and Brittany Covington have also been charged with residential burglary. Hill is also charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
According to Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department, the victim was tied up for four to five hours, and will make a full recovery after being returned to his family.
The department pursued hate crime charges for the suspects due to the victim’s mental capacity, the fact that he was tied up and the racial language used throughout the crime, Duffin said.
According to reports, the victim’s parents reported him missing to police on Monday, January 2, after the family had not heard from the victim since dropping him off at a fast food restaurant to meet Hill on New Year’s Eve. Hill and the victim were acquaintances from school, police said.
Eventually Hill and the victim became engaged in a play fight, until the situation escalated and the victim was tied up for several hours, authorities stated. A resident in another apartment alerted police after complaining about the noise caused by the crime.
Responding Chicago officers found the victim on the street, visibly shaken, wearing an inside out shirt, shorts and sandals.
“He was bloodied, he was battered,” Officer Michael Donnelly said. “He was very discombobulated.”
The victim is currently under the care of his family, who released a statement regarding the incident:
“We’re so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother. We’re fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders. At this time, we ask for continued prayers for all those involved, for our family’s privacy as we cope and heal,” said David Boyd, the victim’s brother-in-law.