Warrants issued for suspects in disturbing assault video


A graphic and disturbing video that appears to show a young woman being sexually and physically assaulted in South Mississippi has been spreading across social media. Hundreds of people are expressing outrage, calling for the attackers to be arrested and the victim helped.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said in a news conference Wednesday warrants have been issued for two suspects seen in the video.

Ezzie Johnson, 17, is wanted for kidnapping. Papania said he will be charged as an adult. Haleigh Alexis Hudson, 19, is wanted for kidnapping and sexual battery.

Papania said officers responded to the reported assault at a home on 7th Ave. around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. Johnson is accused of shooting the Facebook Live video inside Hudson’s home.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges and arrests are possible, Papania said.

The original Facebook Live video of the attack has been taken down, but there are numerous copies of the video still floating around online. Because of the graphic nature of the video, WLOX News Now will not be showing any part of it or linking to any posts describing it.

β€œIt speaks loudly about our culture,” Papania said.

According to Papania, the video that’s still online has been viewed more than 48,000 times. He believes the violence that’s often shared and spread through social media is the reason why incidents like this continue to happen.

β€œI wish people would look at just how warped our society has become. We videotape pain and suffering, and then we share it, and we view it over and over.”

Papania did praise the concerned members of the community who have been sharing information to help the investigation.

If you have any information that could help detectives investigating the case, please call the Gulfport Police Department at 228-868-5959 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.

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