Four juveniles have been identified as suspects in the assault of a 39-year-old mentally disabled man, the Philadelphia Police Department confirmed (video below).
The incident occurred on May 29. Police said footage of the assault was captured by one of the juveniles, and was discovered on social media on June 5, WPIX reported.
The victim was walking down the street when a group of teenagers began talking to him. Police said a 12-year-old boy then punched the mentally disabled man in the face for no apparent reason.
The assault did not stop there. A 15-year-old was seen punching the man as he was moving away from the first suspect, according to police.
The video was shared on social media by one of the suspects, who works with the victim at a local grocery store. Authorities worked with the area school district to identify the suspects seen in the now-viral video.
The investigation is currently ongoing, and no formal charges have been filed at this time.
The video caused social media to erupt, with several users expressing their disgust with the juveniles' actions.
"This is f***ing disgusting. I saw this on facebook yesterday and it moved me to tears," wrote one YouTube user. "I would never put my hands on a helpless person. He seems happy, smiling, he felt safe, and then boom.
"They said he like sports, I would talk to him about sports all day if I could. Im sorry that happen to you Mark."
"Saw this this morning and it's been messing with me all day," another commenter wrote. "I just feel really upset and very sad about this situation. Hope those kids [get] locked up and learn a serious lesson."
While some social media users blamed the parents, others jumped to their defense.
"Stop blaming the parents. I'm pretty sure no parent told their child to hit a disabled adult if they see one," wrote one Facebook user.
"We never know what our children are doing when they are without us. This is a fact," wrote another. "Even kids from two-parent homes. All we can do is instill goodness in them and teach them right from wrong and hope they take these values with them wherever they go!"
Others were less forgiving.
"They all need to be arrested and prosecuted! No mercy, look at the little boy in the back laughing his butt off!" wrote another user. "All of them need to do time!!"