BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 15-year-old boy has been charged in the brutal beating and robbery of a Baltimore Police Department civilian employee.
The brazen July 24 attack of the 59-year-old man on Albemarle Street was caught on camera. The man worked as a lab technician for the police department.
Police are crediting the arrest to the community- saying it was through social media and anonymous tips that led them to the suspect.
“This arrest was the direct result of the community’s outrage to this crime and the subsequent help that residents provided police. The floodgates of social media and anonymous tips opened and the information poured in,” Major Milton Snead of the Citywide Robbery Unit said.
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The teen is one of the three suspects in the case and the first to be arrested.
Police arrested the teen outside a convenience store in Columbia, Maryland on July 29.
Zainab Chaudry, of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that the victim is “very shaken.”
“He is very shaken,” Chaudry said. “He is still trying to cope in the aftermath of the attack. He still has nightmares. He’s not able to sleep at night.”
Friends say that the victim, who is Muslim, just finished his morning prayer and was walking to work around 6 a.m. on Wednesday when the group of three attacked him.
“He forgives the suspects,” Chaudry said. “He doesn’t harbor any ill will toward them, and he believes the justice system will take its course and they will have to have consequences for their actions,” Chaudry said.
During a crime walk on Tuesday night, Mayor Jack Young said that the violence needs to end.
“All of this type of crime is totally unacceptable,” Young said. “People have to have consequences for what they do. Stomping a man in his head as many times as they did is an adult crime.”
The BPD employee released a statement, saying:
“I’m glad that the suspect is in custody so no one else is hurt. From my presonal point of view, as a Muslim guided by my faith, I forgive them. Law enforcement is handling the case, and justice will run its course. They will have to face consequences, but it’s very important for them to get the help they need to become productive citizens of Baltimore.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was one of several groups to offer a reward for information in the case, also released a statement, reading:
“On behalf of the survivor of last week’s attack, CAIR commends the officers who have been working tirelessly on this case, and thanks community partners who have stepped up to offer support. When young people engage in these kinds of brutal attacks, they are often themselves also victims of broken systems, of biased policies, and of structural racism that contributes to this vicious cycle of violence. We want to emphasize prioritizing rehabilitative solutions rather than criminalizing and incarcerating the youth who were involved.”
The teen was charged with first-degree assault and robbery. He is charged as a juvenile.
Police are still actively looking for the two other suspects caught on camera.
The investigation of the incident is continuing. Anyone with information regarding the crime is asked to contact the Baltimore Police Department’s Citywide Robbery Unit, at 410-366-6341. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-866-7LOCKUP.