Police in Washington D.C. are asking for the public’s help in identifying a group of teens who were captured on disturbing surveillance video brutally assaulting two men outside a hotel.
On July 14 at around 1 a.m., the two victims from Hampton and Newport News, Virginia, were walking toward the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue NW when they saw a group of at least 10 juveniles at the corner, according to a police report with the Metropolitan Police Department.
Surveillance video released by police on YouTube on Wednesday showed a member of the group walking up to both men and pointing while talking to an approaching group of people.
"[Victim 2] states that one of the juveniles scream, 'That's him!' while pointing towards [victim 1]," the report said.
Then, victim 2 tried to intervene, telling the group: "That's not him. You have the wrong person!" according to the police report.
Both men were then attacked, as the group swarmed around them.
As the group dispersed and ran away, the second man was struck in the face and another person from the group spat on the man on the ground.
Both men were treated and admitted to a hospital. Victim 1 suffered injuries to his head and left eye socket; victim 2 suffered a swollen left eye.
Police described the attackers as juveniles, both girls and boys ages 13 and 14, who were wearing black clothing.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said during a news conference Thursday that the attack would not be treated like a "schoolyard prank."
"That's an assault. And it carries jail time. And so we want those people to know, young people — we don't know how old they are — that this is not a game. They're real people on the other end of this attack," Bowser said.
The hotel said in a statement that it believed the attack had been sparked by an incident at a nearby bar, according to ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV.
The surveillance video showed multiple people punching, kicking and stomping one of the men repeatedly as he lay motionless on the ground.
"I have been able to connect with our hotel and security teams. They believe that the events leading up to the attack outside the front door of the hotel began at a nearby bar. In terms of comment, our immediate thoughts are with the victim and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. We are not aware of a direct connection with our hotel, but when our team learned of the attack, they were quick to assist the victim and medical first responders. We have also offered all appropriate assistance to law enforcement as they seek to bring the perpetrators to justice," Nigel Glennie, vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement to WJLA-TV Wednesday.
Police are asking anyone with information that would help them identify the suspects in the video to call (202) 727-9099 or text 50411. Police said the information could be eligible for a reward.
"We don't know the motive in the case. We have some information from the scene that it may have been a case of mistaken identity, but we haven't confirmed that," Peter Newsham, chief of police, said Thursday. "I can tell you it was very troubling to see, you know, a gentleman walking down the street and he was assaulted, it looked like 10 or 12 people that assaulted him."