Authorities in Niagara Falls, New York, are investigating after a video surfaced showing a physically and mentally disabled man being slapped.
The video, which was posted to Facebook, shows the man — identified by police as “Billy” — being approached by three individuals. The man who slapped Billy can be heard saying “I’ll kill you.”
Billy is known to those in the area, including, and residents were outraged to see the treatment he was subjected to.
“No human being should be treated like that,” Billy’s friend, Minnie Williams, said.
“If I had seen them hurting Billy like that, I would have stepped up and slapped the guy around to see how he liked it,” former U.S. Marine Steve Flagg added.
Police believe Billy, who is not homeless but suffers from physical and mental disabilities, was targeted by the men because of his “ limited ability to communicate clearly with responding officers when police are called.”
Niagara Falls Police said in a statement that they were “disgusted by what is shown on the video” and are currently investigating. The man who slapped Billy was subsequently identified, and authorities are searching for the accomplices. Niagara Falls Chief of Detectives Kelly Rizzo said the department looks forward to “bringing those responsible before a judge to answer.
“It will be a pleasure to play this video in a courtroom. I am sure others will see, as I do, that Billy's mental capacity is far greater than the two perpetrators,” Rizzo said.