A mob of furious neighbors of an 11-year-old girl raped on her way to school in Philadelphia won't be charged for beating a man wanted for questioning in the case.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city's West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.
Carrasquillo hasn't been charged with rape but was arrested on an unrelated warrant. Ramsey said investigators have forensic evidence and witness identification placing him at the scene of Monday's attack.
Carrasquillo was released from the hospital into police custody Thursday afternoon after being treated for head injuries. The girl also has been released from the hospital.
Ramsey said he made the decision not to charge the residents based on the severity of the man's injuries. He also factored in the neighbors' intent and the high level of emotion in the community. But, he added, he doesn't condone violence.
The crowd pummeled Carrasquillo for several minutes on Tuesday with wooden sticks, their hands and their feet before police arrived to take him into custody. The attack was videotaped.
The group recognized Carrasquillo from a photo released by police, who called him a person of interest in the girl's rape on Monday as she walked to school.
On Wednesday, police classified him as a suspect.
"He's a suspect. There's no question about that," Ramsey told FOX 29 in Philadelphia, adding that detectives are trying to determine whether he is responsible for other sexual assault cases under investigation.
Authorities also say they are analyzing a new videotape in their possession and are investigating reports of another girl's groping on Monday by a man outside the Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, FOX 29 reported.
Surveillance video of Carrasquillo's beating 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.
The rape victim 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.
Philadelphia Police Lt. Frank Vanore said authorities 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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.