Scroll down for updates...
A loyal reader sent in this disturbing video of a man being beaten by thugs who assume he's gay apparently because he's wearing a hairpiece and skinny jeans.
In the video, which was posted on Worldstarhiphop.com, the unidentified male victim, dressed in all black, was viciously punched without provocation as he exited a convenience store with another man dressed in an orange Tee (it isn't clear if the two men are together).
When the victim hit the ground he was set upon by three thugs who savagely kicked and punched him as he cowered on the ground. The thug holding the camera laughed while another man off-camera screamed anti-gay hate slogans.
Loyal reader Demond writes:
Please Help End This.. Can you please help put an end to this mess! Bring these three guys to justice!
Update I, 6:43 pm ET:
The Washington Post has picked up the story under the title Atlanta Hate Crime Caught On Videotape. I had no idea this brutal attack occurred right here in Atlanta -- the gay mecca of the south. We're waiting for the local news to catch up.
Update II, 7:00 pm ET:
The Atlanta Journal Constitution was on top of this story earlier today. According to the AJC, Atlanta police are aware of the videotaped beating, which took place outside a convenience store on McDaniel street just south of the AU center. But police don't know who the victim is or the date when the video was shot. The APD is urging the victim to come forward and press charges against his assailants.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident shown in the video to call Zone 3 police officers at 404-624-0674 or to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.
Update III, 11:40 pm ET:
The AJC reports that the FBI has joined in the investigation:
In a prepared statement emailed to the media Monday night, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, "Along with the Atlanta Police Department, we are working to determine if the actions portrayed in the video violate federal law, including the hate crime statute.
"The actions depicted in the video are appalling and unacceptable in our community, and we encourage anyone with information about this video to contact the FBI or Atlanta Police," Yates said.
Update IV, 11:45 pm ET:
WSBTV.com Channel 2 Action News reporter Craig Lucie speaks with the family of the teenage victim: Federal investigators now joining probe into taped beating of teen
Be warned that the video you are about to see is brutal and disturbing.