Nine teens from the ages of 12-19 have been arrested for the beating and robbery of a gay man this morning, WWLP reports:
According to Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney, Shay Andre Edwards (pictured), 19, of Springfield was arrested on charges of unarmed robbery and violation of civil rights with injury. Four other teen boys and four teen girls have are also facing the same crimes in connection with the attack. Their identities are not being released because they are underage. Delaney says the attackers ranged in age from 12 to 19 years old.
According to Delaney, before 3:00 Tuesday morning, the group saw the 30 year-old man walking by Barrows Park. They called out to the man, telling him to enter the park, but he kept walking. That was when they allegedly knocked him to the ground. The male teens punched him in the face and kicked him in the head and stomach, while the females of the group cheered them on. All the while, the group members allegedly yelled out anti-gay slurs. The group allegedly took his MP3 player before running off.
The Republican adds:
“During the beating, the females encouraged the males to beat up the victim,” Delaney said. “All the participants yelled disparaging about the victims sexual orientation during the attack.”
After the beat, the victim called police from a home on Eastern Avenue.
A short time later, officers Luis Adames and Herman Little spotted the suspects in front of 600 State St., less than a quarter-mile from the attack. One of the suspects, a juvenile, had the MP3 player in his possession, Delaney said.
The victim suffered head trauma and other injuries, according to the paper. The teens have been charged with unarmed robbery and civil rights violation with injury, and the attack has been determined to be a hate crime.