MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Morgantown police are asking people to come forward with any cellphone video they may have shot of the severe beating of a Texas man downtown earlier this week.
The assault on Corpus Christi resident Matthew Tovar was caught on a business surveillance camera, but Police Chief Ed Preston told The Dominion Post he won't release it because it's evidence in an active investigation. Preston said Tovar was in the area to work on a natural gas drilling operation.
Tovar was kicked in the head and body even after he was unconscious at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. He was initially in critical condition but has since improved.
Charged with malicious wounding are: 19-year-old Tyler Garguilo of Paramus, N.J.; 19-year-old Dominick Posillipo of Garnerville, N.Y.; 20-year-old Christian Ascolese of Stony Point, N.Y.; 21-year-old Ryan Herbert of Morgantown; and 19-year-old Franklyn Soto, of West Haverstraw, N.Y.
Only Herbert is a student at West Virginia University, school officials said Friday. The other suspects were visiting him.
Soto is being held on $250,000 bond. The others are held on $500,000 bond at North Central Regional Jail. It's unclear whether they have attorneys.
An unidentified juvenile was also charged in the attack.
Jim Nolan, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at WVU, said the mob mentality is often at work in such cases.
"There's a psychological thrill people get in participating in these type of things," he said.
Alcohol use, youth, cover of darkness and machismo also fuel the fire. Attacks can be prevented if someone says no, "but it takes guts," Nolan said. "The group may turn on you."