Local News

Brothers charged in Roanoke Rapids videotaped assault

Posted September 12, 2012 5:03 p.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2012 6:56 p.m. EDT

— Two brothers have been charged after investigators say they recorded themselves assaulting an elderly man on Old Farm Road in Roanoke Rapids last December and posted the video to YouTube.

The video shows four men in a car who start laughing as one of them gets out, approaches the victim from behind and slams him to the ground. The victim, who police say is disabled, had been raking leaves in the neighborhood before the assault.

Roanoke Rapids police Maj. Tommy Hathaway said when officers took the initial report in December, they had no leads. But a detective randomly found the video last week on YouTube and launched the investigation.

"It's amazing that people would video such an incident and post it to the World Wide Web," Hathaway said. "It's sad. It's tragic."

On Tuesday, police arrested Marcus Blount, 20, and Antonio Blount, 24, of the 300 block of Madison Street.

Antonio Blount was charged with assault on a handicapped person and jailed under a $2,000 bond. Marcus Blount, who police believe was driving the car, was charged with accessory after the fact and jailed under a $1,500 bond.

The men told investigators that they assaulted the man in retaliation for an issue involving their family member.

Antonio Blount declined to speak with WRAL News. Neighbors also did not want to comment but said they were shocked to learn about the incident.

The video is no longer on YouTube, but WRAL News showed a copy of it to Roanoke Rapids resident Aaron Patterson.

"I think it was very childish for someone to do something like that, especially pick on someone that's in that condition," he said.

Hathaway said the department has a policy of checking social media to help solve crimes.

"People, I guess, believe they're invisible to the rest of the world," he said.