Okeechobee, Florida — Earlier this month, a video of an autistic teen being savagely beaten by someone police called a cowardly animal, was posted to Facebook. The video went viral in a matter of minutes.
Aaron Hill, 16, told detectives a girl invited him to a party on SW 9th Street in Okeechobee last Friday where he drank alcohol and was then told to go outside and fight someone.
The teen said when he refused, 18-year-old Andrew Wheeler was called.
After Wheeler arrived, Hill told police Andrew began beating him. In the incident report, he stated Wheeler followed him outside then choked him until he lost consciousness. Hill told police he awoke to find Wheeler standing over him — hitting him in the face — while others stood around and laughed. He added that Wheeler then held a knife to his throat and told him to leave.
A police officer later found Hill lying in the road on Southwest 6th Street after being alerted by a passerby. Hill was then transported to a hospital.
Doctors said Hill suffered a sprained neck, facial and scalp contusions, and a concussion.
After detectives saw the video, Wheeler was arrested.
The Okeechobee City Police Department investigated this case and made the arrest on August 10, 2014. Wheeler was charged with Felony Child Abuse, a third-degree felony.
Okeechobee City Police Chief Denny Davis said his department arrested the suspected attacker within twenty-four hours of getting the video — and the department is upset that the public thinks they are trying to cover something up.
“I think the video is disgusting. It is just as upsetting to myself and my officers as it is to anyone else that viewed it. Absolutely no way would we ever attempt to cover up anything like that. So it’s very disturbing,” the chief said.
An adult is also seen in the video. The police report identified the woman as Evadean Lydecker Dailey.
Hill told police that earlier that evening, Dailey had driven them to the gas station and bought them alcohol, then later she was drinking at the home with her friends. Hill told police that he had tried to knock on her door for help, but she would not answer.
Dailey denied giving alcohol to the minors as well as denied witnessing the fight inside her residence.
However, police said Dailey is the woman that is heard in the video telling partygoers to “take it” outside.
Dailey was arrested and charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Holding an Open House Party.
Yesterday, Protesters outside the Okeechobee City Police Department said they didn’t feel as though Felony Child Abuse was a strong enough charge. They also accused the police department of dragging their feet in this investigation due to family members of those in the video working in the law enforcement field. Chief Denny said those allegations are not true.
The girls in the video have been defending Wheeler on Facebook and bragging about the attack on Aaron Hill.
One girl wrote, “Like a girl would ever date that retard…he deserved it.”
On August 15, 2014, the grandmother of Wheeler told the police, “Wheeler is sorry he did it.” She added, ” The family is not bonding him out of jail because we fear someone will kill him. Our entire family has been threatened with death.”
Aaron’s older sister said she does not wish death upon the family but does feel Wheeler’s punishment should be more severe. She also said she felt as though there is corruption in the town. She said law enforcement has been turning a blind eye to drunken house parties and bullying in the town for quite some time.
She said all she could do when she watched the video was cry.
Police said it does appear that Hill was lured to the party by a female with the intention of having him beat up.
Wheeler was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on a $20,000.00 bond.
Additional charges are pending.
WARNING: Video contains violence and graphic language. Those with high blood pressure should not watch the video.