Three Accused of Assaulting Autistic Teenager, Lighting His Hair On Fire

March 23, 2019 Updated: March 23, 2019

Three young men have been indicted for a 2-hour attack on an autistic teenager, in which they allegedly set fire to his hair, kicked him, punched him, and tried to force him to admit to smashing a friend’s car.

The attack at a home in Seabrook, New Hampshire was recorded by bystanders who laughed and posted footage to Snapchat, according to authorities.

Paul Dustin, 18, Israel “Izzy” Junior Rivera, 18, and Brandon Lemieux, 19, are accused of restraining their unnamed victim, who is described as having a “low-level autism disorder by police,” while they punched him and spat at him on Oct 17.

“The criminal restraint is essentially that he was held in a room for a period of two hours while individuals punched, kicked and also lit his hair on fire,” lead assistant Rockingham County Attorney Ryan Ollis said, according to MUR.

According to reports, Dustin and Lemieux punched the victim once each but Rivera allegedly repeatedly kicked and punched him.

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Israel Rivera (Seabrook Police Department)

According to NewsTimes, the victim statements allege that Rivera “hit me in the face three times, twice on each side and once on the chin.”

“After that I was completely humiliated. Most of the people at the house were spitting on me, physically abusing me, flicking ash in my hair, kicking me and making me admit crimes I did not commit.”

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The location of the town of Seabrook in New Hampshire is shown with a red marker. (Screenshot/Googlmaps)

Rivera had been trying to force the victim to admit to smashing a friend’s car with cinder blocks, police say, according to Seacoast Online.

The incident with the car had occurred ten days earlier when the alleged victim had been “dragged” along to a home that Rivera wanted to rob for prescription drugs because he knew the family.

During that robbery attempt, Rivera allegedly threw cinder blocks through one of the cars on the street.

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Brandon Lemieux (Seabrook Police Department)
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Paul Dustin (Seabrook Police Department)

A week and a half later, the subject of the alleged assault had gone to the house on Main Street to pick up his belongings, where he found Lemieux and Dustin. He was encouraged to stay at the home to smoke marijuana. Dustin left, returning a short while later with Rivera, who then allegedly proceeded to punch, kick, spit at, and verbally abuse the victim.

Rivera faces counts of criminal mischief, criminal restraint and witness tampering stemming from the assault as well as the damage to the car.

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An aerial shot of Main Street in Seabrook, New Hampshire. (Screenshot/Googlemaps)

According to News Times, the court documents also refer to video evidence.

“Izzy [Rivera] can be seen punching him in the face with a closed fist while several other people are filming and laughing,” a detective said, according to the documents. “It shows the victim pleading with him to stop and is defenseless.”

The victim also said his iPhone was taken.

“I was told that at if at any point I left, I would be put in the hospital and then a body bag,” he said according to the court documents.

All three suspects are free on bail. Their cases will be tried separately.

The charges they face are Class B felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of 3.5 to 7  years imprisonment.

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