(WMUR/CNN/Meredith) – Three 19-year-olds in New Hampshire have been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly assaulting another teenager with autism, including lighting his hair on fire and threatening his life.
Police said the incident was caught on video by witnesses.
Paul Dustin, Brandon Lemieux and Israel Rivera are facing a variety of charges in connection with the October 2018 assault in Seabrook, New Hampshire, including felony criminal restraint.
Lead Asst. Rockingham County Attorney Ray Ollis explained to WMUR that the felony criminal restraint charges stem from the victim allegedly being held in a room for two hours while the suspects allegedly kicked and punched him and lit his hair on fire.
The incident allegedly happened inside a home.
Court documents show police describing the 18-year-old victim as having a low-level autism disorder and having noticeable bruises when the incident was reported the following day.
In a victim statement, the victim said Rivera “hit me in the face three times, twice on each side and once on the chin. After that I was completely humiliated, most of the people at the house were spitting on me, physically abusing me, flicking ash in my hair, kicking me and making me admit crimes I did not commit.”
Dustin and Lemieux are charged with simple assault, and in the victim statement, the victim said his iPhone was taken and “I was told that at if at any point I left, I would be put in the hospital and then a body bag.”
Documents also indicate video evidence, with a detective stating “Izzy [Rivera] can be seen punching him in the face with a closed fist while several other people are filming and laughing,” and that the video “shows the victim pleading with him to stop and is defenseless.”
All three suspects are free on bail. At this point, their cases will be tried separately.