Criminal Justice

Florida man arrested after videotaped beating of autistic boy goes viral

A Florida man has been arrested in connection with the videotaped beating of an autistic 16-year-old boy at a house party.

Andrew Wheeler, 18, of Okeechobee, has been charged with child abuse without great bodily harm, WPTV reports.

Wheeler was arrested Sunday after being recognized by police in a video posted to Facebook and tagged to a Facebook profile bearing his name.

The video appears to show Wheeler beating the boy about the face while others watch.

The victim told detectives he was invited to a party last Friday, where he drank alcohol and was then told to go outside and fight someone.

The teen said when he refused, Wheeler was summoned. He said Wheeler followed him outside, choked him until he lost consciousness and hit him in the face.

A police officer later found the victim lying in the road. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors said he was treated for a sprained neck, facial and scalp contusions and a concussion.

Wheeler claims he received a call about “a drunk guy” at the party who wouldn’t leave. He says he drove to the home and went inside to take that person home. When he tried to take the teen outside, he said, the victim tried to hit him. Officers say Wheeler admitted losing his temper and hitting the boy.

Police have also arrested Evadean Dailey Lydecker, the owner of the home where the party took place, and charged her with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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