JONESBORO — The criminal investigation into the Labor Day weekend attack of a mentally-disabled teen is now closed.
A video of the attack was widely circulated on social media, showing a 15-year-old boy punch the victim’s upper body repeatedly in a deserted area. Police reported that the male victim, 14, “complained of pain and soreness to the touch on his left arm, shoulder and back of (his) head and discomfort when trying to raise his left arm above the shoulder.”
Police learned that the victim has an undisclosed schizophrenic disorder, as well as major depression and anxiety, according to the report. In a supervised interview, the alleged attacker admitted to arguing with the victim before they went to the dead-end street.
He told police that he was aware that the victim was previously rehabilitated for a mental illness.
“I then asked him if it was fair to say that he did know something was wrong with Victim No. 1 and he agreed he did. … I asked him, ‘At anytime did Suspect No. 2 try to get you stop hitting Victim No. 1?’ and he said, ‘No,’ Detective Chad Hogard wrote.
Carnell Kelly, 18, of Jonesboro, told Hogard that the victim was gossiping about his attacker and they went over to his home to discuss it, the report states. Once on the deserted street, Kelly said the 15-year-old and the victim, 14, instructed him to record a fight between them.
“He just thought it was two kids the same age getting into a fight. … He said Suspect No. 1 didn’t hit him in the face because they (were) friends and Suspect No. 1 still considers Victim No. 1 his friend,” the report read.
Kelly was cited for criminal conspiracy to commit second-degree battery, a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in county jail and a fine not exceeding $500. He is set to appear in district court at 1 p.m. Sept. 23.
The report indicates that the 15-year-old was detained on suspicion of second-degree battery against an incompetent person, a Class D felony. If found guilty, the suspect faces up to six years of state imprisonment. His case, however, was deferred to the Craighead County Juvenile Office.
School resource officers at the Nettleton School District were also informed of the incident.