5 York County men charged in beating of gay teen

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - The York County Sheriff's Office has made five arrests in a case involving a gay teen who was brutally beaten nearly three weeks ago in Rock Hill.

Joshua Esskew was assaulted on Saturday, April 9, at the Spot Convenience Store located at 990 South Cherry Road.

According to the sheriff's office, there was a verbal altercation between Esskew and Bobby Wilson who was standing in front of the convenience store.

Wilson allegedly struck Esskew in the back of the head with a bottle.

The sheriff's office says when Esskew attempted to confront the assailant, other males ran to the scene and also attacked Esskew.

The attack was captured on surveillance video and the sheriff's office released that video to the public.

Several people called in with tips which identified the five suspects as Bobby Wilson, 30; Cortezio Laquise Douglas, 21; LaJames Mitchell, 22; Darenco Markie Wilmore, 21; and Lortarius Anthony Duncan, 22.

Each of the suspects have been charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature which is a felony charge. If convicted, each of the suspects could receive a sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

The sheriff's office said, "Based on the original allegations that this may have been a hate crime, the FBI has collected facts to present to the Department of Justice."

"The suspects in this crime have been identified and are being brought to justice due to cooperation between law enforcement and the willingness of the public to get involved and not let this violent crime go unpunished," said York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant.

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