New Jersey (The Gaslamp Post) – Police investigating a disturbing incident during which a young man was accosted by three men, forced to strip naked, and was then beaten by one of them while being captured on video have all three in custody. The three men, identified as Ahmad Holt, 19, Jamaar Gray, 23, and Raheem Clark, 31, have all been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, weapons offenses and conspiracy, in connection with the August 2012 assault which wound up on going viral online.
In the video a man, identified as Ahmad Holt ordered another unidentified man to strip naked and then beat him with the belt of one of his accomplices while making him say things to the camera. The beating is alleged to be over a $20 debt owed to Holt by the victim’s father.
Neither the victim nor his father have acknowledged any debt owed the men.
According to the Star-Ledger, the victim stated that he was held at gunpoint through out the beating, which found it’s way onto YouTube. In the video the victim who is obviously distraught, is seen being ordered to strip completely nude, berated, mocked, ordered to say, “it’s a dog eat dog world,” and then lashed with a belt. “Dawgy Dawg” is alleged to be Holt’s street name.
The victim who was humiliated by the assault declined reporting it to police until he saw it on the internet earlier this month. He said that he feared retribution if he reported it.
“I was kinda scared. Just did what they asked me to do so they wouldn’t turn a page,” he said. “They had a gun.”
The 21-year-old said he was trying to put the attack behind him until the video surfaced on YouTube on Feb. 7 — the victim’s birthday.
“It made me feel hurt, mad. All types of feelings,” he said.
“They’re cowards,” he added. “We all know that.”
The victim’s aunt who had raised him since his mother died when he was much younger, was also visibly shaken by the revelation of what had happened to the young man she had raised as her own son.
“He’s not saying much, but I see the hurt in him,” she said. “They dehumanized him.”
Trembling as she spoke, the victim’s aunt said the attack has shaken the family and caused them to live in fear of another assault.
“For somebody to do such a horrible thing to my child, it took me back over a hundred years to what we call slavery,” she said. “I cry for days every time I think about it.”
The hunt for the alleged attackers led police to a Twitter account, also pointed to by the collectivist hacker and pro-free speech group Anonymous, belonging to an individual with the handle, @440BoyRiqBubz and @RiqBubz. This then eventually led police to the men, whom are all reported to have extensive criminal history and know gang affiliations.
“To see him stripped down naked and taken advantage of and abused like that, it was sickening to me,” said Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio. “I pictured somebody doing that to my son … the people that did that need to be brought to justice for sure.”
Of the three suspects in the case, two have pleaded not-guilty to the charges. A public defender acting as attorney for Raheem Clark had entered the plea for him in his arraignment hearing in Newark yesterday. The alleged camera man, identified as Jamaar Gray had also pleaded not-guilty to the charges in a hearing this past Thursday.
The ring leader who is said to have orchestrated the attack, Ahmad Holt, is reportedly a convicted drug dealer who been released from prison less than a month prior to the attack. He was already back behind bars after an unrelated arrest earlier this month.
Both Gray and Clark remain in custody on $100,000 bond. Holt is scheduled for an arraignment next week.
(h/t: The Star-Ledger)