A man sitting outside an Ohio gas station was beaten by a group of 12 teenagers in a brutal and unprovoked attack, Cleveland officials say.
Surveillance video captured the group arriving at the gas station — on the city’s northeast side — in stolen Kias and Hyundais at about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25, city officials said at a news briefing.
Several teens walk up to a man sitting against a wall and unleash a flurry of kicks and punches, video shared by officials shows. The man tries to get away, but more of the group step in, surrounding him, and he’s unable to escape.
At one point, the man is thrown into the air and body slammed onto the parking lot, video shows. Eventually, he’s able to escape by running into the store.
“I was disgusted and appalled watching the level of violence directed at someone who appears to be simply doing nothing but sitting outside of a gas station,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said.
“The man is lucky to be alive,” he said, adding that after receiving medical care, “he’s doing OK.”
O’Malley was joined by a host of police and city leaders condemning the violence, including Mayor Justin Bibb.
The beating was just the beginning, according to officials.
After the victim flees the group, multiple juveniles pull out guns — one pulling a rifle out of their pants — and fire dozens of shots at someone or something down the street, O’Malley said. Police aren’t sure what the teens were firing at, but nobody was injured.
Several individuals involved in the beating and shooting have not been identified, officials said.
The entire incident happened over the course of five minutes, O’Malley said. The juveniles got into the stolen cars and drove away.
However, some of the group were arrested within two hours thanks to a 911 call, officials said. Police said they found the teens inside a house they had broken into and took them into custody.
Of the 12 arrested, all were between 12 and 16 years old, Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond said.
Despite their ages, city officials promised to pursue serious charges.
“What we’re seeing here is ... animalistic behavior,” Drummond said.
All of the juveniles arrested have been charged with receiving stolen property, officials said. Seven are facing charges of felonious assault and aggravated riot, and others have also been charged with a slew of firearms offenses.
One of the dozen arrested was also wanted on a murder charge, officials said.
Strong actions must be taken to combat the “senseless violence that is gripping not just Cleveland, but many communities within our county,” O’Malley said.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Cleveland police at 216-623-5500.