According to the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, the incident occurred at around 1 a.m. on July 14 outside the Hilton hotel in downtown DC. The surveillance video shows the two men attempting to walk into the hotel when a group of at least 10 juveniles swarm them.
Video shows one of the men being knocked to the ground, while the other manages to enter the hotel before being attacked. The group of teens continuously beat one of the victims, even after he’s been knocked to the ground. At one point, the other victim exits the hotel, presumably to help his friend, only to get punched in the face.
The individual who managed to enter the hotel before the vicious beating told officials that one of the suspects yelled, “That’s him,” pointing at the man walking beside him, before the initial attack was initiated. The same person later yelled: “That’s not him, you have the wrong person” at some point, according to police officials. One female assailant is also seen spitting on the first victim after he was left beaten on the ground.
All the suspects fled the scene of the crime, and the two men were treated for injuries at a local hospital. The man who was knocked to the ground was treated for injuries to his head and left eye socket, while the man who managed to escape into the hotel for a few minutes suffered a swollen eye.
"We don't know the motive in the case. We have some information from the scene that it may have been a case of mistaken identity, but we haven't confirmed that," Peter Newsham, chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, said Thursday, according to multiple reports. "I can tell you it was very troubling to see, you know, a gentleman walking down the street, and he was assaulted. It looked like 10 or 12 people that assaulted him."
During a news conference Thursday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said the attack would not be considered a “schoolyard prank,” even though the offenders were suspected of being between the ages of 13 and 15.
"That's an assault. And it carries jail time. And so we want those people to know, young people — we don't know how old they are — that this is not a game. They're real people on the other end of this attack," Bowser said.
In a statement to WJLA-TV Wednesday, Nigel Glennie, the hotel’s vice president of corporate communications, said that the attack may have been triggered by an incident that occurred at a nearby bar.
"I have been able to connect with our hotel and security teams. They believe that the events leading up to the attack outside the front door of the hotel began at a nearby bar,” Glennie said.
“We are not aware of a direct connection with our hotel, but when our team learned of the attack, they were quick to assist the victim and medical first responders. We have also offered all appropriate assistance to law enforcement as they seek to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the suspects to contact them at 202-727-9099.