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Police detained 4 in connection with the unprovoked beating of mentally-disabled man


Officials detained four young men suspected to be involved in the unprovoked beating of a 38-year-old mentally challenged man last week in Germantown, Philadelphia, according to Philly.com. Police launched an investigation on Monday after a video of the incident went viral on Facebook showing the victim, Mark Smith, smiling and apparently distracted as a young teenage boy moves in from behind and sucker punches him.

Capt. Malachi Jones of Northwest Detectives said the suspects were in custody on Tuesday, though none of them have been formally charged yet.

According to Jones, the perpetrators range in age from 12 to 15. They declined to identify themselves because they are juveniles. 

Jones described the incidents as "senseless," adding that those who hit Smith could face counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, and reckless endangerment. 

Jones said a 12-year-old boy threw the first punch, which pounded Smith's left jaw. Another person hit Smith a second time, as two others appeared to stand by and laugh. 

Besides assaulting Jones, the suspects are believed to be involved in a separate incident with Fitler Academics Plus School Principal Anthious Boone. Jones said Boone was trying to stop a fight between students when someone threw a brick at his face. Detectives suspect two of the youths involved in Smith's assault participated in the brick-throwing attack.

“We are aggressively working on this and want to bring justice to both of these complainants,” Jones added.

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