Two teens surrender in attacks on homeless
Published: Monday, January 16, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 16, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Two South Florida teenagers suspected of being involved in the beatings of three homeless men turned themselves in to police on Sunday, officials said.
Family attorneys negotiated the surrender of Brian Hooks, 18, and Thomas S. Daugherty, 17.
They face murder charges in the death of Norris Gaynor and aggravated battery charges in the videotaped beating of Jacques Pierre, said Capt. Michael Gregory, in charge of criminal investigations with Fort Lauderdale police.
They are also suspects in the beating of a third man, Raymond Perez, 49, whose case remains under investigation, Gregory said.
Daugherty and Hooks invoked the right to remain silent when taken into custody. They were being held at separate facilities pending official charges from a grand jury, Gregory said. Officials were not able to provide the names of attorneys for the two teens.
Gregory said police were investigating whether the two teens may have been involved in other beatings and if they had accomplices.
"We do know there have been other assaults of homeless in Fort Lauderdale," Gregory said.
The attack on Pierre, 58, took place Thursday on the Fort Lauderdale campus of Florida Atlantic University. The video and still pictures taken from it were broadcast and published nationally.
Gaynor, 45, was killed a few blocks away in a beating later Thursday, preceding the attack on Perez in a Church-by-the-Sea garden.
It was not immediately clear if Perez and Pierre remained hospitalized Sunday.
The Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition for the Homeless, which has published an annual report on attacks that appear directed at homeless people simply because they are homeless, found the number has risen from 60 in 1999 to 105, including 25 deaths, in 2004. The majority of attackers were young men between the ages of 16 and 25.
It was possible the attacks could be considered hate crimes under federal law, Gregory said., but that aspect was not included in the current charges.
An advocate for the homeless said he has encountered cases of alleged violence against homeless by young people.
"Along railroad tracks, you talk to homeless people - kids throw rocks at them," said Scott Russell, a pastor at Coral Baptist Church.
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