2 Charged in Taped Attack on NJ Homeless Man

A 20-year-old is seen punching and kicking a homeless man in the face, bloodying his nose, before wishing him a Merry Christmas

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011  |  Updated 6:59 AM EDT
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Two men are charged with beating a New Jersey homeless man for fun, and filming the whole assault. NBC New York's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

NBC New York

Two men are charged with beating a New Jersey homeless man for fun, and filming the whole assault. NBC New York's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

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A young man strides purposefully into the woods as a cameraman asks what he's about to do.

"About to go beat up this bum," the man in the video says.

And that's exactly what he does, punching and kicking a homeless man in the face, bloodying his nose, before wishing him a Merry Christmas.

The videotaped assault has led to criminal charges against a 20-year-old New Jersey man and a 17-year-old boy accused of filming the assault while egging the attacker on.

"Just dive on him! Dive on him!" the cameraman says on the video as the assailant approaches a disheveled-looking man in a wooded area of Wall Township, near the Jersey shore.

The young man in the video knocks the homeless man to the ground, as the attacker and the cameraman dissolve into fits of laughter.

It's unclear when the assault took place, but Wall Township police say they got word of a videotaped assault on Sunday. The video had been posted to YouTube but was unavailable on Monday after News12 New Jersey posted it on its website.

Police charged 20-year-old Taylor Giresi, of Lake Como, with aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit assault. A teen they say recorded the assault faces a charge of conspiracy.

"They don't care," Wall Township Police Det. Heath Bono told NBC New York. "They enjoy it. They enjoy doing these things. And they thought, 'No repercussions. Who cares? This guy's a nobody.'"

Giresi was jailed on $60,000 bail. A message sent to his Facebook page and telephone messages left at four homes in the Lake Como area registered to people with the same last name were not immediately returned Monday.

On a Facebook page that appears to Giresi's, he claimed to be a model whose likes include the TV shows "Jersey Shore" and "Jackass" and the marijuana comedy movie "Half Baked." On the tape, the cameraman says, "That was Jackass' 'Beatin' A Bum.'"

Police didn't disclose the identity of the teenager because of his age. He was released to the custody of his parents. Police did not immediately respond to requests for additional information, and it was unclear if other people are suspected of participating in the assault.

Police said in a written statement they received a report Sunday that several people had attacked a homeless man, filmed the assault and posted it on YouTube. An investigation between Wall and neighboring Belmar police identified Giresi as one of those involved, police said.

The victim was "a Wall resident who often finds himself homeless," police said.

"The video showed that the subjects involved took advantage of the victim's unfortunate circumstance and targeted him on two separate occasions due to his financially destitute situation," police said.

Local residents who saw the video were stunned by the brutality and cruelty of the assault.

"I got through half of it, and then I turned it off," Dominic Targonski told NBC New York. "I was pretty angry."

"I kinda know the guy, I've seen him in town," said Eric Targonski, referring to the homeless man,  identified to NBC New York as David Ivins. "I've seen him in town. Not really much of a troublemaker, he keeps to himself. I hope the kids get punished."

Ivins, who has lived in the town for most of his life, was described as harmless.

"I've known Dave for a long time, and he will be the first person to give you the shirt off his back," said one man, who only gave his first name, Jack.

After initially attacking Ivins, the young man in the video returns to him again. As the cameraman urges him on, he punches Ivins in the face, sending him sprawling to the ground.

The two then announce they are stealing the homeless man's bicycle.

"No, I need my bike!" the victim protests.

The young man smiles at the camera, then runs off with the bicycle as the cameraman yells, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever the (expletive) you are."

The second part of the video appears to chronicle a different assault in which Ivins is punched, kicked and knocked to the ground. He slowly gets up and looks directly at the camera as the cameraman apologizes for the assault in a sarcastic tone.

"Oh, my God, you're bleeding!" the cameraman says. "We didn't mean to do that. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Wipe off the blood."

The cameraman then directs the young man to give the victim a hug. The bleeding victim reaches out to hug his attacker, who then rams his knee into the Ivins' stomach.

Ivins begins to scream, prompting the attackers to leave, but not before the young man runs up and delivers a flying kick to the victim's head.

"You gave him the big boot!" the cameraman exults. "The big boot!"

Friends of Ivin told NBC New York he has recovered from the assault, and continues to return to the woods despite what happened to him there.

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