Courtesy of sfexaminer.com
The suspects in a horrendous hate crime against two gay men have possibly been identified
Around 10:45 pm last Thursday night (Sept. 11), the men were walking around Center City in Philadelphia when they encountered a group of young white men and women.
Police reports state that one member of the group asked if the men were boyfriends, insulted their sexuality, and then brutally attacked the pair. The men were kicked in the head, chest, and face. As the group fled, someone stole a bag dropped by one of the men during the attack.
One victim underwent surgery and had his jaw wired shut, while his companion had fractured bones and abrasions on his face. Neither of their names have been revealed to the public.
In an attempt to track them down, police posted a video of the suspects.
Afterwards, user Greg Bennett (@GreggyBennett
) posted a photo of a group of individuals to Twitter, some of whom looked a lot like the suspects in the video. The photo had been passed on to Bennett, but he didn't know the location in the photo. Fellow Twitter user @FanSince09 retweeted Bennett, and it spread like wildfire. Other users identified the location as La Viola, an Italian restaurant in Center City.
Here's where the power of social media gets downright scary.
FanSince09 got the names of the people in the photos by checking their Facebook profiles--which they'd used to check in to La Viola. He passed on this amazingly helpful information to the police, although no arrests have been made:
Some of the suspects quickly obtained legal counsel after being notified by police, which ABC 6 reporter Kenneth Moton discovered that same night.
There is a $10,000 reward for helping to catch these suspects, so if FanSince09's detective work is accurate, the cash is all his. However, he plans to donate half of the reward to LGBT charities. Amazing.
He has since done several interviews, but still wants to remain anonymous
"The benefit I have of being an anonymous account is that people feel more comfortable talking to me than they would going to the police because their names can get associated with it," he said. "I was the go-between between the tips coming in and the police department."
We here at PopWrapped hope and pray that the victims continue to recover, and that the monsters behind this are sent to jail.
And kudos to both Greg Bennett and FanSince09! The world needs more conscious, proactive social media users like yourselves.
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