CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors charged teenage girls in the beating of a mentally disabled man, after video of the attack was posted on Facebook and provoked outrage in their southeast Missouri community.
The incident happened about two weeks ago in Caruthersville. The video shows the girls punching Louis Crocker, a man known around town as “Cool Breeze” who is mentally disabled and who drinks heavily, according to his family.
The girls are in juvenile custody and were due in court Thursday on undisclosed juvenile charges. Prosecutors are also considering charges against a man who is seen with the girls in the video clip. He told KFVS-TV that Crocker threw the first punch.
Crocker told the station the girls simply attacked him.
“I told her (one of the girls) to leave me alone,” Crocker said. “She’s 15. I said `Baby leave me alone.’ I mind my own business, and I sit here and I drink.”
He said he refused to fight back because the attackers were girls.
“My mama always told me before she died, `You hit a woman you’re not a man,”’ said Crocker.
He said he wasn’t seriously hurt, but he thinks the girls should be punished.
Police Chief Tony Jones said Crocker is well-known in town as an eccentric. Crocker has been known to dance on people’s porches, but he’s harmless, Jones said.
“There’s a lot of angry people,” Jones said. “I am one of them.”
Crocker admitted to the station that he was drunk that day, but his family said that’s no excuse.
“He didn’t deserve this,” said Racheal Self, a relative of Crocker’s.
“They knew he’s not mentally right, and I just want to see justice served and this not happen to anyone else,” Self said.
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