A 15-year-old girl who videotaped a gang attack in a Chicago alley is one of seven teens charged in the assault of a 17-year-old boy that went viral after being posted on YouTube.
"She lured the victim to that location and also videotaped the attack," said a spokesman for the Chicago police department. "It was planned and it was orchestrated so that victim would go to that alley and the attack would take place."
The video was posted on YouTube shortly after the attack on Sunday afternoon. Although YouTube has made the original video age-restricted, the taped beating has gone viral on the Internet. Police say it helped them identify the attackers.
In the video, six attackers are seen beating and robbing a teenager of Asian descent in an alley behind a Chicago elementary school. They shout profanities and racial epithets while he is kicked and punched.
Police have charged Raymond Palomino, 17, as an adult with one count of robbery and one count of aggravated battery, according to ABC News' Chicago affiliate WLS-TV.
Palomino appeared in court today and his father Michael Palomino, a 30-year employee of the Cook County Sheriff's office, told WLS-TV that he turned his son in when he found out he might have been involved.
"I think it's very disturbing what they did to him [the victim]. When I asked him [son, Raymond Palomino] why he did it, he said he didn't know why he did it," Michael Palomino said. "I told him I was really upset, what he did was wrong. Like I said, it's very disturbing what I've seen in the video."
It is unclear whether Palomino is a police officer or civilian employee.
"He's not a bad kid. I guess the people he hung out with may have been a bad influence on him," Michael Palomino said. "What he did was wrong, and now he's got to suffer the consequences."
Three 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and one 15-year- old girl have also been charged as juveniles in connection to the case. Authorities are not releasing their names because they are minors. The minors have been turned over to a juvenile detention center.
The victim, a 17-year-old Curie High School senior, was eventually able to escape his attackers. His cuts and bruises were treated at a hospital and he was released. The attackers stole his wallet and gym shoes, according to WLS-TV.
The video shows him being pummeled with fists, kicked and dragged down the alley. One of the pack even holds the victim down while another beats his head with a shoe.
At one point, the young man gets to his feet, pleads with his attackers to "hold on," but is dragged back to the ground for more punches. The video, as initially posted, begins with the attack in progress, and lasts for close to four minutes before the victim is able to run away.
Chicago police said, "At this time, it does not appear that this incident was racially motivated."
In Chicago, the incident recalled the videotaped gang beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert in 2009. The widespread circulation of that video brought national attention to the issue of youth violence.
This latest video is among countless others on the Internet that show violent, abusive behavior. That raises concerns because, according to technology analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, "it becomes a kind of competition among the kids and it actually seems to promote the activity instead of mitigating it."
But Enderle says censoring these kinds of videos is not the answer. "It doesn't mean the stuff isn't still going on. It just takes it out of the public view. And in the end, when you've got a violent crime, the more people that know about the crime, the better the chance for something to mitigate it."
YouTube's "Community Guidelines" page says, "Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed." But that rule is not absolute. "Context is king" says a YouTube blog.
In a statement to ABC News, YouTube said, "While YouTube's Community Guidelines generally prohibit graphic or violent content, we make exceptions for material with documentary, or news value. In cases where material is not suitable for younger viewers, we apply warnings and age-restrictions to safeguard our users."
But it is violence in general, not its vivid portrayal, that concerns those who live near where the assault occurred. Neighbor Carl Segvich said, "It's much more than anger. We have war in our cities right now, and if they would have had a gun, they would have probably shot the poor kid."