A Facebook user in Idaho alerted authorities in the Macomb County town of Warren over the weekend after discovering a disturbing video showing a 14-year-old pleading for a another boy and a young woman to stop whipping him with a belt.
“It was appalling,” Detective Sgt. Stephen MIlls told the Detroit Free Press in an interview about the video-taped assault. “It was quite egregious.”
The video, which Mills said was made in January or February, showed the 14-year-old, who was clothed, being whipped with what appeared to be leather belts from the shoulders down by suspects who have been identified as his cousins, a 16-year-old male and a 20-year-old female, both of Redford.
They apparently were punishing him for an incident that had taken place in October, when he allegedly stole candy from Lincoln Middle School, where the teen is a student. The male can be heard making racial slurs on the video, the female can be heard chastising the boy for being a thief and the boy can be heard “pleading with them, asking them to stop,” Mill said.
The detective said it appears “The family members decided to do their own source of punishment,” Mills said.
The person who reported the video to police doesn’t appear to have any relationship with those involved in the incident. Police said it ws posted to Facebook by a Lincoln Middle School student.
A school resource officer helped police identify the victim, who remains at home with guardians, who reportedly were unaware of of the beating until Monday.
The boy did not suffer long-lasting physical injuries during the assault, Mills said. Neither of the cousins has been charged, but the police department is continuing its investigation and plans to consult with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office for further direction.
Child Protective Services is also involved in the case, Mills said.