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Crime & Courts

Teens arrested in connection with Kenai beach-party assault caught on video

Kenai police have made several arrests in connection with a beach-party assault on a teenager Monday night that was captured on video.

The Kenai Police Department announced late Thursday officers had arrested a 15-year-old boy from Kenai on Wednesday for fourth-degree assault and transported him to Kenai Youth Detention Facility. They arrested a 17-year-old boy from Kenai on the same charge Thursday and took him to the facility. Neither was identified.

Police said Elijah Royal-Reyna, 19, of Kenai on Thursday was issued a summons to appear in court on the fourth-degree assault charge.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, police say.

A video of the assault surfaced on social media. The victim’s grandfather, former Soldotna mayor Tom Bearup, posted a 52-second clip showing the incident on his Facebook page Wednesday.

His grandson, who is not being identified, just turned 18, Bearup said. He was invited to the party by “what he thought were friends,” Bearup said Friday. “He was socializing with other people, and then they came and jumped him from the back. It’s sickening.”

The video shows the teenager being thrown to the ground in front of a bonfire as a group surrounds him. One begins hitting him repeatedly in the head. He can be heard asking “What did I do?” as another voice says, “The head, get the head.” Other boys pummel him before a female voice urges them to stop, saying, “I think that’s good. I think that’s good. ... He’s hurt. He’s hurt.”

The teen is recovering from bruising to his face, head and body, relatives say. He was treated at a hospital and released, Bearum said.

Police on Wednesday issued a statement saying they were looking into the incident after receiving “multiple calls and inquiries” from people who saw the video posted online. They asked witnesses to contact them.

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