CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men and two women have been charged with a hate crime, after allegedly kidnapping an 18-year-old man with special needs, torturing him, and posting videos of the torture online.
Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, and hate crime, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Hill also was charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Hill, Cooper, and Brittany Covington also were charged with residential burglary.
Hill is from Carpentersville. The other three suspects are from Chicago. All four were scheduled to appear for bond hearings Friday afternoon.
Police have said the 18-year-old victimized in the videos is a northwest suburban resident with special needs who had been reported missing. The four suspects are black. The victim is white.
“The actions in that video are reprehensible. That, along with racism, have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter against anyone, regardless of their race, gender, state of mental health, or any other identifying factor. There was never a question whether or not this incident qualified to be investigated as a hate crime,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday afternoon.
Police said the victim’s parents dropped him off at McDonald’s on New Year’s Eve, so he could meet a friend, and spend the night at his friend’s home. Hill allegedly picked him up there a short time later in a stolen vehicle and took him to the West Side of Chicago.
Hill allegedly drove around the West Side for the next few days, and the victim slept at night in the back of the van.
On Tuesday, Hill allegedly took the victim to the Covington sisters’ home on the 3400 block of West Lexington Street. A few hours later, the four suspects began torturing him. At least two videos of the torture were posted on social media.
In the first 30-minute video, which apparently was posted live on Facebook on Tuesday, the victim is backed into a corner, his mouth duct-taped shut. The victim’s clothes were cut, he was peppered with cigarette ashes, and then his hair cut with a knife until his scalp bled.
Several people can be seen laughing and eating during the attack, in addition to making disparaging remarks about President-elect Donald Trump and using racially charged language. At one point, while the victim is backed into a corner, someone is heard shouting “F*** Donald Trump. F*** white people.”
A second video, which surfaced on Twitter, showed the suspects grabbing the teen’s head, shoving it into a toilet, and forcing him to drink.
A downstairs neighbor called 911 on Tuesday to complain about excessive noise from the Covingtons’ apartment, police said. Police responded to the call, and the sisters broke down the neighbor’s door, upset that they had called police.
Police said the victim was able to escape the apartment, and an officer spotted him outside, wearing a tanktop inside out, and appearing bloodied, battered, and discombobulated.
Investigators soon discovered the disturbing Facebook video showing the young man being tortured.
Police said the victim is expected to recover from his injuries.