3 Teens Arrested for Attacks on Man With Mental Disability

A third teenager was arrested for his alleged involvement in the recorded attacks on a man with a mental disability in Delaware.

Officials say the 14-year-old boy from Newark, Delaware turned himself in at New Castle County Police headquarters early Monday night. Over the weekend, two other Delaware teens were arrested and charged for their alleged roles in the attacks.

While police suspect the attacks occurred several weeks ago, videos of the assaults made the rounds on Instagram after they were posted on Friday.

One video shows a teenager chasing after the man in front of an apartment complex. The man runs away from the teen, begging for him to leave him alone. The teen then grabs the man and body slams him to the ground as he screams out in agony. The teen then punches and kicks him in the head as his friends laugh in the background.

Two other videos show the teens attacking the same man in a wooded area. One video shows a teen once again body slamming the man to the ground as his friends laugh. The other video shows the teens punching and pushing the man to the ground.

The manager of a Delaware McDonald's also told NBC10 he spotted the teens bullying the man and throwing his lunch out onto a busy road.

The videos inspired a massive social media response and the clips quickly went viral.

"It's been a frenzy," said Soraya Cristan, a teenager from White Settlement, Texas.

Cristan claims the videos inspired her to create an anti-bullying campaign online.

"The tag #TheBullyProject has had over 50,000 posts," Cristan said. "People have spread the awareness all over the Internet."

Angeliz Marrero, a 16-year-old student at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, told NBC10 she also received a huge response after reposting the videos on her Instagram page and using #TheBullyProject hashtag. The campaign was personal for Marrero who says her brother is mentally challenged and was beaten up a few years back.

"I want something to be done to those kids so they know that's not okay and justice to be served for this man," Marrero said.

According to police, the victim is a 26-year-old man who has a neurodevelopmental disorder. He was treated and released from the hospital for injuries he suffered during the attacks.

“He loves music and is very kind and is completely harmless,” Marrero said. “He loves to be out of the house just being active walking around.”

Marrero claims the attacks took place at the Harbor Club Apartment complex on Cheswold Boulevard in Newark, Delaware, and in a wooded area behind the YMCA of Newark, Delaware.

Marrero also told NBC10 the teens shown in the video are between the ages of 14 and 15 and attend Delaware area high schools and middle schools.

Police say a 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy, both from Newark, Delaware arrived at New Castle County Police Headquarters on Saturday where they were arrested in connection to the attacks. Police tell NBC10 the families of the teens took them to their headquarters not to turn them in but to complain about the numerous phone calls, texts and negative social media messages they've received due to the videos.

The third teen was arrested Monday night.

All three teens are charged with offensive touching, assault of a vulnerable adult and conspiracy.

The videos have sparked strong reactions from people across the nation since they surfaced on social media, including Delaware Governor Jack Markell.

“I am horrified and sickened by the actions of the young people seen and heard in these videos," Markell said in a statement released Monday. "The images not only are disgusting for the physical harm done to the victim. They are also an affront to our most important values, which recognize that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect."

Police are still searching for other teens involved in the attacks. If you have any information, please call the New Castle County Police Department at 302-573-2800.

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