A person of interest in the horrifying rape of an 11-year-old girl on her way to school in Philadelphia was severely beaten by angry neighbors — and the attack was caught on camera.
Jose Carrasquillo, 26, is currently in stable condition after the videotaped beating by about a dozen West Kensington residents, according to police.
The mob pummeled Carrasquillo for several minutes with wooden sticks, their fists and their feet, authorities said.
He suffered head injuries and was taken to Temple University Hospital. Police said Wednesday that he has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.
Carrasquillo hasn't been charged in the rape, which happened as the girl walked to school Monday, but he has been arrested on an unrelated warrant, according to investigators.
Police described Carrasquillo as a "person of interest" in the case and asked the public for help in finding him.
The assault happened Tuesday after neighbors recognized Carrasquillo from a photo distributed by police.
Surveillance video shows a man being chased by at least three people, one of whom hits him several times with what appears to be a bat or large stick. As they chase the man, a crowd gathers. A police officer arrives, and the video cuts off.
Investigators have said they would look at whether to file charges against any of the neighbors. None had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, said Philadelphia Police Lt. Frank Vanore.
The girl had just dropped off a sibling at day care and was walking to school Monday when a man approached her, investigators said. He started to walk with her, threatened her and said he had a gun. He took her to a nearby backyard and raped her repeatedly, authorities said.
Vanore said police did the right thing in publicizing their desire to talk to Carrasquillo. He noted he was wanted on a bench warrant and had 17 prior arrests.
"We've got an 11-year-old viciously raped," Vanore said. "We factored in a lot of things and the biggest thing was to get this individual off the street."
University of Pennsylvania criminologist Lawrence Sherman said police did nothing wrong by releasing a detailed description and photo of a man who was not a suspect, saying, "I don't know that they had much option to get a hold of him in any other way."
But Sherman, director of Penn's Jerry Lee Center for Criminology, faulted citizens for taking the law into their own hands.
"We have a big enough problem of witness intimidation, let alone considering the risk we pose to persons of interest," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.