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Man allegedly beaten in Facebook video tells attackers: 'You broke my spirit'

4:07 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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UPDATE 7/19/13: A 14-year-old has been charged with simple felony battery and he is in custody, according to CCSO spokesperson Mary Justino.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- It all started with a basketball at a local playground, but ended in what one young man's mother called heartbreak.

"It's sickening, it's disgusting, it's absolutely a travesty," said Lisa Walkerernst.

She couldn't watch the Facebook video of one young man beating an intellectually disabled man at the park down the street from her house while half a dozen other kids looked on.

"Who would do something like this to someone who did not deserve to have anything done to them? It was very disappointing, very upsetting," she said.

Both of her kids are friends with the man beaten in the video, and she said he's kind to everyone in the neighborhood.

Her son told her the boys in the video starting picking on him when he wouldn't give them his basketball.

Posted on Facebook by the young man who allegedly threw the first punch, the video was shared dozens of times and had hundreds of comments within hours.

The four-minute video ends with the man sitting on a slide, crying.

He can be heard telling the young man taking the video, "You broke my spirit."

Clay County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mary Justino said they're investigating the video after people in the neighborhood showed it to them.

She said depending on the severity of the man's disability, the boy seen in the video allegedly punching him could face a felony charge.

Twelve hours after it was initially posted, the video was taken down, and a man who said he's the boy's uncle posted on Facebook that he was not proud of his nephew's behavior and knew it was wrong.

But Walkerenst says that doesn't change what he did, or how he made that man feel.

"When you find out that someone you enjoy being around, that's always been nothing but nice to you has been taken advantage of, and there's nothing you can do about it, you almost feel helpless," she said.

According to CCSO, this is an ongoing investigation.

First Coast News

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