3 young adults accused of assaulting 18-year-old with autism, lighting his hair on fire

SEABROOK, NH (WMUR/CNN) - Three 19-year-old men in New Hampshire have been indicted by a grand jury on accusations they assaulted an 18-year-old, lit his hair on fire and threatened his life.

Paul Dustin, Brandon Lemieux and Israel Rivera face a variety of charges, including felony criminal restraint and simple assault, in connection to an alleged assault last October against an 18-year-old, who has autism.

“The criminal restraint is essentially that he was held in a room for a period of two hours while individuals punched, kicked and also lit his hair on fire,” said lead assistant Rockingham County Attorney Ryan Ollis.

Paul Dustin, Brandon Lemieux and Israel Rivera face a variety of charges, including felony criminal restraint and simple assault, in connection to an alleged assault last October against an 18-year-old, who has autism. (Source: Rockingham Police/WMUR/Hearst/CNN)
Paul Dustin, Brandon Lemieux and Israel Rivera face a variety of charges, including felony criminal restraint and simple assault, in connection to an alleged assault last October against an 18-year-old, who has autism. (Source: Rockingham Police/WMUR/Hearst/CNN)

Police say the incident, which allegedly happened in a Seabrook, NH, home, was recorded on video by others who watched it all unfold.

The victim and his mother reported the incident the next day, according to court documents. Police described the 18-year-old as having “visual bruising” at the time.

“He hit me in the face three times, twice on each side and once on the chin,” said the victim, of Rivera. “After that, I was completely humiliated. Most of the people at the house were spitting on me, physically abusing me, flicking ash in my hair, kicking me and making me admit crimes I did not commit.”

The victim also said his iPhone was taken, and he was told that if he left, he “would be put in the hospital and then a body bag,” according to court documents.

The documents also describe the video evidence.

One detective said Rivera can be seen punching the victim while others watch and laugh. They also said the victim appears defenseless in the video and that he pleads with Rivera to stop.

“The unfortunate reality is is with violent crimes, the victims often undergo senseless violence, and it’s our goal to get justice for them,” Ollis said.

All three suspects are free on bail. At this point, their cases will be tried separately.

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