Social media is exploding after video surfaced online of an autistic teen being viciously beaten by an 18-year-old at a party in Florida while revelers are seen standing around and watching it all take place.
Andrew Wheeler, 18, was arrested and booked in Okeechobee County Jail on a $20,000 bond, reported WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, citing the county sheriff’s office. Wheeler faces a charge of third-degree felony child abuse, the station reported.
The victim, 16, was at last Friday’s house party when he reportedly got drunk and passed out, WPBF said, citing the police report the station noted it obtained. When he woke up, the victim was asked to go outside to fight someone, according to the report. When he refused, Wheeler allegedly was summoned to kick the boy out of the house. Then Wheeler is seen punching the victim, kicking him, and dragging him by his hair.
Here’s the video of the assault via Live Leak. (Warning: This clip contains violent, disturbing images and foul language.)
The victim told police Wheeler choked him until he became unconscious, WPBF reported, adding that when he woke up Wheeler was standing over him and hitting him in the face — and others stood around and laughed.
Then Wheeler held a knife to his throat and told him to leave, WPBF noted. The boy collapsed in the street where police found him after receiving a call from a driver, WPDF added, citing the report.
The boy sustained multiple bruises, a sprained neck and a concussion, WPBF added, citing the report.
While at the hospital with the victim, police reportedly found out the video of the attack was posted to Facebook and tagged to a profile with the name Andrew Wheeler, WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach reported.
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Upon viewing the video, the officer noted that a detective recognized Wheeler in the video punching and kneeing the victim. Other people were standing around while the video was being recorded, according to the report.
Police located Wheeler on Sunday and placed him in custody.
Wheeler claims he received a call that there was “a drunk guy” at a party and he wouldn’t leave. He says he drove to the residence and went inside to take that person home. After walking outside to answer his phone, Wheeler went back inside and said he was told that the teen was punching and pushing another person.
Wheeler claims when he attempted to take the teen outside he tried to strike Wheeler.
Wheeler was not hit and struck the teen with his fist, according to the report.
Regarding claims that his department tried to cover up aspects of the attack because some partygoers allegedly had connections to the police, Okeechobee City Police Chief Denny Davis told WPTV that he and his officers are upset about the accusations.
“I think the video is disgusting,” Davis added to the station. “It is just as upsetting to myself and my officers as it is to anyone else that viewed it. Absolutely no way would we ever attempt to cover up anything like that. So it’s very disturbing.”
Davis also noted that police in Okeechobee, which is about an hour southwest of Vero Beach, arrested the suspected attacker within 24 hours of obtaining the video.
Police also arrested Evadean Dailey Lydecker, who lives in the house where the attack allegedly occurred, WPTV noted. Lydecker was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor, the station reported.
A woman seen in the video of the attack was identified as Lydecker, WPBF said, citing the report.
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The boy told police that earlier that evening, Lydecker had driven them to the gas station and bought them alcohol, then later she was drinking at the home with her friends. He added that he had tried to knock on her door for help but there was no answer, the report said.
Lydecker denied giving alcohol to minors and denied witnessing the fight inside the residence.