CHICAGO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Four people in Chicago were charged with felonies Thursday for the beating of a man with mental health issues who, on a Facebook Live video shot by his assailants, was shown cowering in a corner with his mouth taped shut.
Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary, according to a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Hill was also charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The four are scheduled to appear in a Chicago bond court Friday afternoon.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Wednesday night the footage that surfaced on Tuesday showing the attack was “sickening.”
In the Facebook live video, which was partially broadcast on CNN and other media outlets, a man who appeared to be white was seen sitting on the ground in the corner of a room as his attackers, at least some of whom appeared to be African-American, laughed and made comments about “white people.”
Mug shots of the four alleged attackers posted by the Chicago police on Thursday showed that all are black.
At least one of the attackers on the video mentioned President-elect Donald Trump as he taunted the man but police stopped short of calling the beating politically motivated during the news conference on Wednesday night.
Police said the young man was tied, gagged and beaten.
One of the individuals taken into custody had attended school with the man, Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin said at the news conference.
The assailants may have kidnapped him when they brought him from the suburb of Chicago where he lives to the city, Duffin said, a theory that appeared to be confirmed by the kidnapping charges brought against the four.
Police were scheduled to provide more details on the incident Thursday afternoon.
Police officers on patrol encountered the victim on Tuesday as he was wandering disoriented on a Chicago street, police said.
He was taken to a hospital in stable condition and later released and members of the public alerted investigators to the Facebook Live video, police said. His name has not been released. (Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Alan Crosby)