Cville Police Investigate Reported Beating on Downtown MallPosted: Updated:
Charlottesville police are under fire after an alleged attack on the downtown mall blew up on social media.
The victims in the attack say three men brutally beat them more than a week ago. When they say they became frustrated by the lack of response from police, one of the victims took matters into her own hands.
She posted photos on Facebook of the people she says attacked her and her boyfriend, leaving them with bruised and broken ribs. The victim says they laughed while they attacked her and her boyfriend, and that they even high-fived each other. The female victim also wrote on Facebook that the attackers didn't take any money, which is why some have questioned whether this is related to some form of a "knockout" game, where criminals randomly attack people and leave.
Now, many want know why the incident wasn’t getting public attention until 10 days later. Police admit that somewhere the ball was dropped, and some people are having to answer to the chief.
According to the Facebook post, the woman and her boyfriend were attacked outside the Wells Fargo bank overnight on December 20. In a press release, police confirm that's the story she told them that evening. Police arrived on the scene after the incident happened but the suspects had apparently gotten away.
Police say the female victim contacted the department December 29 to provide additional information to help with the investigation, and that's when she learned the case had not been assigned to an investigator - more than a week later.
Meanwhile, police Chief Tim Longo has asked members of the field operations and support services command to determine why the investigation was not immediately assigned to investigators and "identify precisely where this breakdown occurred."
As of Monday morning, the chief has requested that this case be investigated immediately by the department's general investigation bureau. Police say the investigation is currently underway, but there are still a lot of questions, including the role those pictures will play in the investigation and any surveillance that may be available.
Charlottesville Police Department Press Release
On the morning of Friday, December 20 at approx. 1:50 am, officers responded to the area of the Blue Light Grill on the mall to investigate an unconscious male. The call was dispatched by the Emergency Communications Center as a Priority 2 Response at 1:42 am, with the first officer arriving on scene at 1:49 am.
Upon their arrival, the officers received information from a female victim that she and a male had been assaulted by 3 African American males who had fled the scene. She also described an African American female who was in the company of the male suspects when the assault occurred. An updated suspect description was broadcasted to officers canvassing the area. No suspects were located at the time.
On the afternoon of December 21, at approximately 1:55 p.m. the male victim contacted police by phone, and provided additional information to include the nature of his injuries; the extent of those injuries were unknown as rescue was refused at the scene.
On December 29, 2013, the female victim responded to the Police Department to provide additional information that could be helpful to the investigative process. It was at this time that she learned that the case had not yet been assigned to an investigator.
On the morning of December 30, the Chief of Police, reviewed the initial report and the subsequent contacts with the victims and directed that the matter be immediately investigated by the department’s General Investigation Bureau. Currently that investigation is underway and entails following up on information previously provided by the victims and pursuing other investigative avenues that may arise from that information or information received by other sources.
Meanwhile, the Chief has asked members of the Field Operations and Support Services Command to determine why the investigation was not immediately assigned to investigators, and to identify precisely where this breakdown occurred.
Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000