Aaron Hill: Okeechobee teen with autism abused, attack caught on camera

Witness describes finding him in the road

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. -- A 16- year- old with autism is recovering after Okeechobee Police say he was beaten and left in the middle of the road.

The abuse was captured on cell phone video that has been seen around the world.

Aaron Hill is seen being kicked in the face and punched by 18-year-old Andrew Wheeler, according to police.

Police say a doctor diagnosed Hill with a sprained neck, facial contusions and may have had a concussion.

Wheeler has been arrested and charged with felony child abuse.

Police have also arrested Evadean Lydecker, who they say lives at the home where the abuse happened and allowed minors to drink alcohol.

Police say Wheeler abused Hill, then forced him to walk away and leave the home.

Hill walked several blocks, injured, until he ultimately collapsed in the road.

Amber Quates says she was driving home Saturday night when she came across Hill.

"Saw something in the road, we weren't sure what it was. We got up closer and we saw that it was a person. "

Quates describes driving around Hill and shining her headlights on him so no one else would hit him.

"He was coughing, crying and moaning. It sounded like we was really scared."

Quates called 911.

People around the world are now reacting to the cell phone video of the abuse, including Hill's sister, Brittany Hill.

"After seeing the video, that was enough to have me raging."

Brittany says she doesn't think her brother was targeted because of his autism. But, she does want to know why this happened.

Aaron Wheeler's grandmother says her grandson is sorry, and even wrote an apology letter.

"Yes, he is sad. In fact, the day after, he cried," the grandmother said.

Brittany Hill wants her brother's pain to remind others to do their part to prevent bullying and abuse like her brother experienced.

"If you see someone getting picked on, say something. Don't just stand there. It's not cool to fit in. Stand out. Say something," Brittany Hill said.

Okeechobee Police say they could still make more arrests in this case if they are able to identify anyone else in the cell phone video.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office says Wheeler has been arrested in the past for theft and burglary. The sheriff's office also says he was just released from prison in May.

He is due back in court in early September.


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