Chicago — The viral video is shocking. A man is attacked in the middle of a busy downtown Chicago street during daylight hours. He’s knocked to the ground and dragged to the curb. Then, a man picks him up and slams him head-first into a metal pillar supporting the city’s famed L train tracks.
Different scenarios have accompanied the video. Some said the man was a “Kia boy” who got caught trying to steal a car. Others said he tried to carjack people, but they fought back. Across the internet, thousands of viewers applauded the video as street justice that a car thief deserves.
But the online story may not be accurate. Here’s the video. Please note that it is violent, and there is strong language:
CWB Chicago has learned that the man who got beaten up talked to police and filed a report. His version of events is much different from the internet story. And, in an interesting twist, the men who attacked him — the ones he supposedly tried to take a car away from — didn’t leave the scene in a vehicle. They walked away, according to a CPD officer who saw the footage from a city surveillance camera.
It happened at 10:19 a.m. Saturday on the corner of State and Van Buren.
Witnesses called 911 to report the incident as it happened, and police arrived pretty quickly. They met up with the 24-year-old man whose head had been slammed into the L track beam.
He told them he was walking through the Loop when a man came up to him from behind and struck him with a “hard object,” according to a Chicago police spokesperson. In the video, the object appears to be a sign on a weighted pole.
His backpack fell into the street, and one of the men dragged him by his leg onto the sidewalk. After kicking and punching the man in his face and head, one of the men picked up the man and drove his head into the L track column.
According to a CPD spokesperson, a third person stole the man’s backpack from the street, and the entire group fled the scene just before police arrived. A police camera operator said they headed west on Van Buren and were last seen crossing Clark Street.
Chicago police had no record of any reported auto thefts or carjacking attempts in the area.
An Instagram account that bounces across the video screen was invalid on Tuesday morning. At least two Facebook users who posted the Instagram video also deleted their posts by Tuesday.