Video captures beating of mentally challenged student
PHILADELPHIA - September 1, 2011 (WPVI) -- This is the story of two brothers, one of them mentally challenged, who were beaten by a gang of eight, leaving the mentally challenged youth in the hospital with serious head injuries.
Police say there is no rhyme or reason for this attack - an attack that may have been fueled by young men high on drugs with nothing better to do.
Family members say 20-year-old Zackary Smith is a mentally challenged high school student who was with his brother and sister Thursday morning just after 1:00 a.m. ordering food at the New Kitchen Chinese Takeout in the 4900 block of Wayne Avenue.
Exclusive surveillance footage of the attack obtained by Action News shows the siblings waiting when eight men in black t-shirts and one in red enter the store. One of them grabs one of the brothers by the neck like they were friends even though they never saw the man before.
"And he was walking around pointing to people asking, 'Do I know you? Do I know you?'" victim's sister Dominique Busby said.
Shortly thereafter, surveillance footage shows a chaotic scene with fists flying everywhere just before relatives say Zack Smith was dragged outside and pummeled.
"My other brother tried to help him and eight guys jumped on both of them. They were kicked to the ground and they were literally brought back up," victim's sister Zsanell Smith said. "When I seen his body, he was literally covered in blood from head to toe and I didn't know what happened, I just screamed when I saw my brother, it was an attack for 5 or 10 minutes."
Relatives say Zack Smith suffered a broken jaw, dislocated teeth, fractures, scrapes, black eyes and possibly neurological damage.
He is at Temple University Hospital where he has been undergoing a number of surgeries.
His family says they've never seen the eight men before.
"It was just guys terrorizing the neighborhood, these flash mob people that keep running around here, they don't even know who it is," Zsanell said.
Anti-crime activists say the brutal attack may have been captured on two police surveillance cameras that are located on the corner of Wayne Avenue and West Seymour Street.
"We have two cameras here that see everything so hopefully whoever did it turn yourself in," antiviolence activist Patricia Redman said.
So far, no arrests have been made in connection with the vicious attack. If you recognize any of the men on the surveillance footage, you are being asked to call 911.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, beating, crime, dann cuellar
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