Florida Teen Charged With Beating Up 16-Year-Old With Autism | NBC 6 South Florida

Florida Teen Charged With Beating Up 16-Year-Old With Autism

The video below allegedly shows 18-year-old Austin Wheeler beating a 16-year-old with autism. Warning, some viewers may find the video disturbing.



    A Florida teen has been charged after police say he beat up a 16-year-old boy with autism, and video of the incident was posted online. NBC 6's Trina Robinson has the story. (Published Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014)

    A Florida teen has been charged after police say he beat up a 16-year-old boy with autism, and video of the incident was posted online.

    Police said the victim was at a party on Aug. 8 at 602 SW 9th Street in Okeechobee where he drank alcohol and was told to go outside and fight someone.

    When he said no, 18-year-old Andrew Wheeler was called over and began beating the victim, according to the Okeechobee Police Department incident report. The victim told police Wheeler followed him outside and choked him until he lost consciousness and continued hitting him until he woke up, according to the report. He told police Wheeler then held a small knife at his throat and told him to leave, the report said.

    An officer found the victim after midnight lying on the road on the 500 block of Southwest 6th Street, saying he had been battered and forced to walk to that location, the report said. Police said he appeared intoxicated, was complaining of chest pains and had vomited on the street.

    The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he doctors diagnosed him with a sprained neck, facial and scalp contusions, and a concussion, the police report said.

    The video of the beating was posted on Facebook the same night as the incident and shows a person police say is Wheeler punch and knee the victim, then drag him across the floor by his hair. The victim, who is crying throughout the video, holds up his arms to cover his head.

    Wheeler, meanwhile, told police he had received a call from someone at the party saying there was a drunk guy in her house that wouldn't leave. Wheeler said that he went inside the house to help the teen, but stepped outside to take a phone call. But when Wheeler went back inside, he said the teen was punching and pushing someone else.

    Wheeler said that when he tried to take the teen outside, the teen tried to hit Wheeler, but missed, the report said. Wheeler admitted to police that he lost his temper and struck back at the teen.

    Police charged Wheeler with child abuse without great bodily harm.

    Police said Evadean Lydecker, an adult who lives at the house where the party occurred, was also charged in the case. Lydecker was charged Friday morning with hosting an open house party and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to officials, Lydecker can be seen in the video and at one point is heard saying "OK" and "all right" before telling the teens to go outside.

    The victim told police Lydecker had driven him to a Marathon Gas Station and bought him alcohol before the party, according to the police report. He said he gave Lydecker money for the alcohol and drank two cups of Lord Calvert whiskey straight without mixing it with anything.

    Following the fight outside the house, Wheeler told police Lydecker told him that he deserved the beating, according to the report.

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