The victims of seemingly random beatings were an 82-year-old man, out for his morning walk, and a 42-year-old who is known for picking up cans in yards around the neighborhood.
I met the 82-year-old victim, who is still badly bruised. His family says that he often walks in the neighborhood near his home.
While on a walk Friday morning, he told his family that a group of teens asked for a cigarette. The man, who speaks little English, told them no and tried to continue walking. That's when the group began to punch and kick him.
The man's jaw was nearly broken and it took five stitches to repair a torn earlobe. His granddaughter told me that she couldn't understand why he was targeted. She says he is a gentle man who wouldn't hurt a fly.
Police were called when bystanders reported the group was punching and kicking the elderly man on Michigan and Nagel. Officers responded to the scene and found a large group of people - police later determined nine of them were suspects.
Police say that while investigating that beating, they learned there was another attack that occurred a littler earlier in the day - about three blocks away.
Neighbors on Virginia Avenue say that a 42 year old man, who often picks up trash and cans around the neighborhood, was attacked in alley. The victim was cut and bruised.
There is no indication that robbery was a motive. The beatings appeared to be unprovoked - according to a police summary.
I spoke with the prosecutor's office and they, too, could not determine a motive behind the attacks.
Three of the suspects are 17-19 years old and considered adults. All three are out on bond and each man faces two counts of 3rd degree assault. According to the prosecutor's office, the charges are misdemeanors because the victims were not seriously hurt and there is no evidence weapons were used. The attacks didn't rise to the level of 2nd or 1st degree assaults.
Six other teens (four are 15 years old and two are 16 years old) face assault charges in juvenile court.
Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter at News4. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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