Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have identified the man who was videotaped being beaten and stripped of his pants by 10 attackers in the EpiCentre garage during the uptown protests Wednesday. And investigators have made a first arrest in the case.
Detectives said late Tuesday that they have charged Antonio Gatewood, 22, as one of the 10 attackers. He is charged with common law robbery, assault inflicting serious bodily injury, false imprisonment and ethnic intimidation.
The victim’s name has not been released, but police say he is helping to identify the attackers. It remains unclear if the man is a Charlottean or was visiting the city.
Cellphone video of the attack has earned international attention and condemnation, including accusations that it was racially motivated. The attackers were African-American and the victim was identified by police as white.
The incident happened during a night of violent protests in uptown that erupted over the Sept. 20 fatal police shooting of Keith Scott, an African-American man.
Charlotte police detectives verified the video is real and that the incident took place at 10 p.m., Sept. 21, in the EpiCentre parking garage at 210 East Trade Street. The EpiCentre was heavily vandalized that same night and several businesses were looted.
In the video, a group of attackers chase, kick and punch the victim, even after he falls to the ground. They then strip his pants off, dragging him across the concrete at one point.
Charlotte detectives put out a call for help identifying the victim late Monday, noting he had not come forward and filed a complaint in the incident.
The video has been widely covered by media outlets around the world as an example of the mayhem exhibited in Charlotte when protests turned violent on Wednesday, the same night one protester was shot and killed by a bystander. The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom featured the video under the headline: “War zone in Charlotte: White man begs for mercy as he is beaten.”
CMPD detectives released details of the video Monday, including the fact that it begins with the victim on one knee at the entrance of the parking deck. “Approximately 10 male suspects chase the victim in the parking deck. They then proceeded to hit and kick him and then pull off his pants as they continued to assault him,” said the police statement.
The video has not been released by police, but it remains posted on You Tube in more than a dozen variations. The department has released images from the video to assist in identifying the victim and the suspects.
Detectives investigating the attack have compared video from the assault to video captured during looting at CVS and determined that some of the same individuals may have been present or involved.
The department has been using videos of the uptown protest to identify and arrest a growing number of suspects accused of participating in the vandalism and looting last week. However, an activist group called Charlotte Uprising is insisting that charges be dropped against anyone who participated in the protests.
The suspect charged Tuesday, Antonio Gatewood, is also among the growing number of people who have been charged in connection with vandalism and looting that occurred during the protests. On Monday, Gatewood was charged with breaking and entering the Buffalo Wild and Jimmy John’s restaurants during the protests.
Staff Writer Joe Marusak contributed