HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two teenage brothers were “savagely attacked” Sunday night following the Kipona fireworks display, according to police.
Chief Thomas Carter said he was disgusted after he called for a night of peace a few hours prior to the attack.
Carter said the Newville teens, ages 16 and 19, were walking to their car when they were jumped by a large group of teens at N. 3rd and Walnut streets near Strawberry Square.
“They were enjoying the fireworks. After the fireworks they were savagely attacked,” Carter said.
Both teens were treated at a hospital. The 16-year-old suffered a broken jaw. ABC27 reported the incident on Monday, but was unable to confirm the details until after the State of the City address Tuesday morning.
A source on Sunday night said there were about 30 teens involved in the attack. One witness said police responded quickly and dispersed the crowd.
Carter said he spoke with the brothers personally and uncovered this was more of a racially motivated hate crime.
“There were some racial undertones to it,” he said “I do not like that. That should not have happened.”
Carter was visibly disgusted giving details about the ordeal. He believes the teens who attacked the brothers are the same group that caused so much mayhem in Midtown Saturday night. ABC27 obtained surveillance and cell phone video that shows dozens of teens thrashing and looting a convenience store at N. 2nd and Verbeke.
The teens caused at least $300 worth of damage in the store, according to police. More than a dozen cars had dents and broken mirrors after the teens left Kipona Saturday night and created a path of vandalism along the way.
Several Midtown residents reported hearing gunshots shortly after the mini-mart was looted. Police located a 15-year-old at the corner of N. 2nd and Reily streets with a gunshot wound to the leg. Investigators later determined the teen shot himself.
On the cell phone video given to ABC27 by a viewer, you can hear a woman yelling “call 911, now!”
On Sunday, Carter spoke to the media and asked parents to be vigilant. He promised to protect the public and called for peace.
“There is no rhyme or reason for this kind of activity here,” Carter said on Sunday. “The juveniles in the city, they know better. I’m calling on for a night of peace, a night of calm.”
Around 10:30 that same night, teens did not heed Carter’s call.
This is why Carter expressed emotions of frustration and disappointment on Tuesday. During his talk with the victims, he said he told them the police department would cover their medical bills from a special victims’ fund.
Carter said the one saving grace is that the federal courthouse building has many surveillance cameras, which could be the tool to help police tighten the loose screws.
“Hopefully, we can look at the camera footage to identify the juveniles responsible for this sort of behavior and if we do, they will deal with the full force of the law,” he said.