PHILADELPHIA (AP) An angry mob beat a man described by Philadelphia police as a person of interest in the rape of an 11-year-old girl on Tuesday after neighborhood residents recognized him from a photo distributed by police.
"We were all standing on the corner and we saw him coming down the street. We knew who he was," said Hyking Brisbon, who was among the crowd. "We grabbed him and started roughing him up and held him down and the cops came."
Surveillance video shows a man being chased by at least three people, one of whom hits him several times with what appears to be a bat or large stick. As they chase the man, a crowd gathers. A police officer arrives, and the video cuts off.
It was unclear Tuesday night whether anyone would be charged in the beating. Police Lt. Frank Vanore said he was sure police will "look at it."
The 26-year-old man was arrested on an unrelated warrant and was not immediately charged in the rape, which happened Monday morning in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Police say the girl was walking to school when a man approached her and threatened to shoot her, then made her walk about seven blocks before attacking her in an alley.
"To attack an 11-year-old girl and — I mean, he injured her pretty badly," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Tuesday. "I went to the hospital and saw her today and it's just something that should've never happened. It's good to have him off the street. People can take a sigh of relief. We still have a lot of work to do, but this is an individual who's been in contact with the police numerous times before."
Brisbon said he wept as police took the man into custody.
"I have a daughter and I wouldn't want that to be my child," he said.