The moment four boys in Philadelphia sucker-punched an intellectually disabled man without any reason was caught on video.
In the 30-second video, which is doing rounds on the internet, a boy can be seen laughing while violently assaulting the man, identified as 38-year-old Mark Smith. As he walks away, covering his face in pain, another boy can be seen punching the mentally ill person for the second time.
The victim reportedly works at a Cheltenham ShopRite as a customer service attendant one day a week.
“He’s a beloved member of our team,” said Jeffery Brown, who owns the store. “We’re very distraught. He has a very nice personality and disposition. He’s a very sweet man.”
“The staff is very upset because when you work in our environment with all different people, you sort of look after a young person like this. He’s like part of your family, so to see something happen to such a nice person is very upsetting.”
The disturbing attack took place in Germantown last week.
After viewing the video, Philadelphia police asked the public to help them identify the juvenile boys. They were informed that the video was recorded on Memorial Day at Chelten Avenue and Knox Street. It is unclear who posted the video online.
Once neighbors helped the law enforcement officers identify the boys, the teenagers, ages 12 to 15 years, were arrested. They were released to their parents with pending charges.
"Obviously, the video is very disturbing. It appears this male, who is 38 years old, was targeted because he is mentally challenged. It's a senseless act of violence," Philadelphia Police Captain Malachi Jones said.
"To them, they might have thought this was clever, but my message to them and kids in general is to do more constructive things with your time. Because you shouldn't be out there messing with people," Jones said.
According to police, two of the young boys were also apparently involved in a videotaped incident in which the principal of Fitler Academics Plus School suffered from serious injuries after school boys hit him with a brick.
People on social media expressed disappointment over this vile incident.
This breaks my heart.— Brooklyn (@Brookie425) June 6, 2017
I'm so close to crying. His confusion to why he was punched after smiling is heart breaking. RT'd— The GIF Haver (@scottdkessler) June 6, 2017
@Moj_kobe this is so upsetting. Poor man. They're laughing ??— antagonist (@antagonist2000) June 7, 2017
I wanna hug this guy :( I hope he's okay— Quinn // 98 (@tinydecoy) June 6, 2017
Not only did these kids assault a mentally disabled person, but they sucker punched him... how low can you be bro...straight cowards ???? https://t.co/Q8Svb19br6— Zach (@Zach_Wojcik1) June 7, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters