7 charged in taped Bridgeport beating

January 18, 2012 8:52:46 PM PST
Seven teenagers have been charged in the beating of a 17-year-old Chicago boy recorded on video and posted on YouTube.

The attack happened in a Bridgeport alley Sunday afternoon.

All of the alleged perpetrators were charged as juveniles except Raymond Palomino, 17. He has been charged as an adult with one count of robbery and one count of aggravated battery. A judge ordered Palomino held on $100,000 bond Wednesday.

Three 15-year-old boys, two 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl, who allegedly lured the victim to the alley where he was beaten, have been charged in connection with the case. Their identities are not being made public.

The video shows six teens punching, kicking, and beating the boy with fists, shoes and ice. The victim, a Curie High School senior, was eventually able to get away and was treated for cuts and bruises. He is expected to be OK.

His attackers allegedly stole his gym shoes, wallet and cash and shouted racial slurs at him. Authorities say, however, they do not believe the attack was racially motivated.

A student at Kelly High School, Raymond Palomino was the only suspect not wearing a mask in the video. His father spoke out as his son appeared in court.

"I think it's very disturbing what they did to him [the victim]. When I asked him [son, Raymond Palomino] why he did it, he said he didn't know why he did it," Michael Palomino told ABC7 Chicago Wednesday. "I told him I was really upset, what he did was wrong. Like I said, it's very disturbing what I've seen in the video."

Raymond Palomino's father has worked for the Cook County sheriff's office for 30 years. When he found out his son may have been involved, he says he turned him into police.

"He's not a bad kid. I guess the people he hung out with may have been a bad influence on him," Michael Palomino said. "What he did was wrong, and now he's got to suffer the consequences."

Palomino's family left court wondering where they will find money to put up for Palomino's bond. The teen's attorney said his client will plead not guilty.

"He's a 17-year-old kid," said Ilia Usharovich, Palomino's attorney. "He goes to school. He's got a job. He's got a family. He's got friends. He's normal. He has no criminal background. He's never been arrested before."

Police say the incident stems from a previous fight last October involving a boyfriend-girlfriend dispute amongst the teens.

"This is very clearly mob type of behavior, said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "They get a lot of courage when it's six or seven beating up one person. And this just isn't tolerable."

"This was a group of high school kids who didn't know how to manage anger, frustrations. It was just general ongoing teenage disputes that escalated and escalated to a physical altercation in October and a subsequent altercation this past week," said Commander Patricia Walsh, Chicago Police Dept.

Police say the video generated numerous tips from the public, but it's also led to a rash of false claims and even threats on the Internet.

"Other people are posting on YouTube saying that this person is one of the offenders and this person is one of the offenders. Much of that information is incorrect," said McCarthy.

"Any other threats on offenders towards victims, anything else that's on the social media out there, will not be accepted or tolerated," said Chief of Detectives Tom Byrne, Chicago Police Dept.

The juvenile suspects were turned over the juvenile detention center for processing.