By JAMES NYE
PUBLISHED: 12:34 EST, 12 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:21 EST, 12 February 2013
Police have launched an investigation after shocking video showing a group of boys stripping and then beating another teenager with a belt was posted online.
The two and a half minute long ‘sickening’ video is believed to have been recorded last summer in Newark, New Jersey and shows the teen surrounded before he is set upon – all because of a $20 debt.
The disturbing clip has been viewed almost 40,000 times on YouTube and has come to the attention of Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio, who has vowed to catch those responsible.
‘You don’t know how bad I want to see the kid who did that taken into custody,’ said DeMaio to NewJersey.Com.
The video begins with a teenage boy being taunted to remove his clothes and as he does so is cornered by others shouting about a debt his father allegedly owed.
Beginning to cower while standing their naked, the boy denies knowing anything about the money and is immediately whipped by a belt wielding member of the gang.
However, the group continues to laugh at him during his ritual humiliation and demand that the boy tell the camera it’s a ‘dog eat dog world.’
Adding his voice to the chorus of outrage is Newark City Council President Anibal Ramos.
‘The perpetrator as well as those who stood idly by laughing and videotaping this act of savage brutality should be brought to justice,’ he said.
DeMaio has said that since they became aware of the video, their investigations have led them to a Twitter account of a potential person of interest – but declined to comment further.
Dozens of furious tweets linking to the video identify someone owning the Twitter handles @440BoyRiqBubz – an account which has been deactivated.
DeMaio said the attackers will likely face aggravated assault and weapons charges. He said the victim of the attack appeared to be a teenager, but would not say if police contacted anyone seen in the video.
‘To see him stripped down naked and taken advantage of and abused like that, it was sickening to me,’ DeMaio said. ‘I pictured somebody doing that to my son … the people that did that need to be brought to justice for sure.’