Parolee charged in brutal beatdown livestreamed on Facebook

A parolee in Chicago has been charged with stomping a man’s head and livestreaming the vicious attack on Facebook earlier this month.

Donyell Austin, 23, is the second person facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery in the Aug. 13 attack outside a gas station in Chicago’s West Side that left four people hurt, including a 42-year-old man who was remained hospitalized Sunday with life-threatening brain injuries, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Prosecutors in Cook County said during a bond hearing on Sunday that Austin stomped the man’s head and broadcast the attack on Facebook Live. The attack occurred after one of the four victims — two men and two women — asked another group of men and women about buying marijuana while outside a gas station in the 1200 block of South Independence Boulevard.

Several of the men and women then followed the two female victims, eventually knocking them to the ground, where they were beaten. One of the male victims, 42, then drove toward the crowd in a failed attempt to break up the melee, but was instead pulled out of the vehicle by Dontae Decatur, 21,  Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Williams said.

Decatur then hopped into the driver’s seat and took possession of the vehicle. That prompted a second male victim, 24, to climb out of the backseat before both he and the 42-year-old victim were assaulted by the group, Williams said.

Decatur allegedly fled the scene in the hijacked vehicle but circled back to stomp the head and body of the older male victim until his lost consciousness. The victim was then dragged out of the street and onto a grassy area where the beaten continued, Williams said.

Austin, meanwhile, had been livestreaming the attack on his cellphone and handed his device to another person to capture him stomping and kicking the 42-year-old victim, who was already knocked unconscious. Williams said Austin then got his phone back and boasted about assaulting the man on the live footage.

Three of the four victims managed to escape with cuts and abrasions, but the 42-year-old man was left with severe brain swelling, facial fractures and hemorrhages behind his eyes. He remained hospitalized as of Sunday in an intensive care unit, Williams said.

Decatur was arrested by police minutes after the attack, the Chicago Tribune reported, while Austin surrendered to authorities on Saturday. Austin later identified himself in still photos taken during the assault, Williams said.

A judge denied bail for both Austin and Decatur, who faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, vehicular hijacking with a firearm and resisting arrest.

Austin, meanwhile, had been on parole on drug charges from Stateville Correctional Center at the time of the attack, according to prosecutors and prison records cited by the Tribune.

Austin’s court-appointed attorney said his client, who has three prior felony convictions, was “only” accused of kicking the victim, but a judge said he was troubled by the allegations and noted that the attorney’s admission would constitute a crime.

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