Police Searching for Attackers Following Assault of Harlinge
HARLINGEN – The Harlingen teen at the center of an attack caught on camera is now speaking out about what happened.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS is protecting his identity for his safety. For this story, we’ll refer to him as “John”.
"The kids that were giving us trouble, we asked them to leave, they didn't want to," John said. "We were just simply doing our job."
The video shows several males kicking and punching the teen.
John told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he went into survival mode when he saw a baseball bat coming.
"It would've been a lot worse if I hadn't kept my hands up," John said, "so I had to protect my head because that's the most essential part of the body."
After the attackers ran off, John was rushed to the hospital. He didn't suffer any major injuries.
He tells us significant damage was done to his sense of security.
"I can't go anywhere without feeling like I have to carry something with me. My dad actually, he doesn't leave the house without something to protect himself too, if I'm with him," he said.
A month later, John wants to know why Harlingen police have not arrested any one of his attackers.
Commander Dave Osborne with the Harlingen Police Department said despite the video, investigators have to gather witness statements and other behind-the-scenes information before making arrests. He said that takes time.
The video shot by the alleged suspects, he adds, is helping investigators.
"They do show the actions of what really took place, how many may have been involved and usually when you make the arrest of one of or two of them, you can use that information to find the identities of the other people that were involved," Osborne said. "That's what we are hoping for in this case. We've identified some of these suspects and we anticipate an arrest to be made soon."
Osborne is also warning people that in these types of cases, even the person recording the video can be held accountable.
"It was obvious in this case the motive wasn't for the safety of the person being assaulted or the fight, it was to encourage and to laugh about it later, possibly post it on social media and hopefully get some likes," Osborne said, "well, they're going to get some attention on it."
John said he wants to have peace of mind when doing the job he loves.
But he won't have that, he said, until his attackers are behind bars.
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