Nobody In Custody After Twitter Users Help Identify Suspects In Philly Anti-Gay Attack
Cops thanked a Twitter user who tracked down a group of people thought to be responsible for an assault on two gay men in the city's Center City neighborhood. Update: Police said they have interviewed "several" people in connection to the case, but as of Thursday morning, no arrests have been made.
Philadelphia Police told BuzzFeed News that as of Wednesday morning, no arrests have been made in connection with a violent group assault on two gay men in the Center City neighborhood last week.
On Tuesday, cops released surveillance footage of a group of people thought to be responsible for the attack online and within a matter of hours, Twitter users following the case tracked down additional photos, location check-ins, and the identities of some seen in the group.
"No arrests have been made," a police spokesman told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday morning. "These people are suspects, but we don't have any of them in custody. It's a just a matter of time before we do."
But according to a report by ABC 6 News in Philadelphia, attorneys for some of the people identified in the video and social media have contacted authorities and are making plans to meet with police.
The two victims, a 27-year-old man and a 28-year-old man, were approached by a group of people around 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 11 and, according to police, made anti-gay remarks before physically attacking the two men. Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital, and one of the victims suffered lacerations to the face and a fractured jaw, which was wired shut, according to information from police.
Shortly after investigators released the video footage of the suspects, Twitter users scrambled to track them down. Greg Bennett, former reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member posted a photo showing a group of people who looked similar to those seen in the video:
Other twitter users joined in the investigation and eventually identified the restaurant where the photo was taken. Twitter users @FanSince09 said he was able to confirm it.
@FanSince09 then took to Facebook to find people who checked in to La Viola around the time before the attack and said he was able to identify at least three people seen in the video:
@FanSince09 reportedly contacted police with the information, but continued his own investigation:
Around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, police took to Twitter to thank @FanSince09 for his help:
Murray was quick to point out, though, that despite the help on social media to identify the people, no arrests were made that night:
@FanSince09 later said that if he were to receive any cash reward money offered to help solve the crime, he would donate it to local LGBT charities:
And then, after declaring "case closed," @FanSince09 urged followers in other cities to take action when crimes occur:
Watch the original surveillance video:
Philadelphia Police told BuzzFeed News that detectives on the case interviewed "several" individuals in connection with the anti-gay attack case, but a police spokesperson could not say how many. As of Thursday morning, no arrests have been made in the case, the spokesperson said.