The disturbing video that caused #JusticeForAaron to trend on Twitter has resulted in two arrests and a call for an end to death threats. VPC
The disturbing video that caused #JusticeForAaron to trend on Twitter has resulted in two arrests and a call for an end to death threats.
11Alive obtained a police report from Okeechobee Police in south Florida that details the events that started on August 8th.
A police officer responded to a 911 about a young man lying in the road. According to the police report, Sixteen-year-old Aaron Hill told police he had been beaten and forced to walk to the spot where he collapsed. He was transported to Raulerson Hospital where police documented his injuries with a series of photographs. They showed red marks to his head, abdomen, chest, and arms. According to police, Hill was diagnosed with a sprained neck, facial and scalp contusions, and a concussion.
While at the hospital, the investigating officer found out there was a video showing the incident posted on Facebook. It's the video that went viral and created an international call for action. According to police, the video was posted to Andrew Wheeler's Facebook page. He's the one seen hitting Hill in the cell phone video.
The next day, in an August 9th interview with police, Hill said he was invited to a party where an adult there, Evadean Lydecker, bought them alcohol. He drank whiskey and then laid down because he didn't feel well. According to notes from the interview, Hill woke up when the group told him to go outside and fight. He refused.
Someone at the party called Andrew Wheeler to come inside. After the video stops, Hill told police he stumbled outside where Wheeler chocked him until he lost consciousness. He woke up again to Wheeler hitting him while others stood around laughing. According to the police report, Lydecker was outside, but did not try to stop the fight, and later told Hill he deserved it.
On Sunday, Okeechobee police found Wheeler and brought him in for questioning. According to police records, Wheeler agreed to tell them his side of the story after they read him his Miranda rights. Wheeler said he got a call from a teen girl at the party saying there was a drunk guy in her house that wouldn't leave. Wheeler told police he drove to the house planning to help take Hill home. Wheeler said he was told Hill punched and pushed girls at the party (Hill refutes this claim).
Wheeler said Hill tried to hit him, and missed. That's when Wheeler says the video started recording. In an earlier interview, another teen told police Wheeler gave them his own phone and told them to record the incident.
According to the police report, "Wheeler stated that he lost control of his temper and the rest of it was on the recording... Wheeler stated he knew this would get him in trouble."
Wheeler was charged with Child Abuse Without Great Bodily Harm. Bond was sent at $20,000. Ludecker was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
According to 11Alive's NBC partner in South Florida, WPTV, Wheeler's family has been receiving death threats. They decided not to bond him out of jail, since they believe he's safer behind bars.
In a Facebook page called Justice for Aaron, the administrators repeatedly call for an end to those threats. A plea credited to Aaron's mom appeared on that page:
"Two wrongs don't make a right. Please no violence and the bullying needs to end. Please guys we're not about violence or bullying. We don't want anyone to be hunted down or stalked. We just want the ones involved arrested with a suitable conviction, to spread awareness on autism and disabled abuse and bullying, and to support Aaron. Please respect the family's wishes in calling for all actions to be non violent, legal, and positive."