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Falls police investigate a slap

NIAGARA FALLS – Social media is driving the police investigation of an attack on a mentally and physically disabled man in Niagara Falls.

In a video posted on Facebook, a man can be seen bullying and slapping another man known to police and others only as “Billy.” The victim, police said, regularly walks Pine Avenue between Portage Road and Hyde Park Boulevard and is not homeless.

Niagara Falls Detective Chief Kelly J. Rizzo said police have interviewed the victim and identified both the location of the attack and the attacker, who is still at large. Police do not know when the attack occurred.

The case, which came to light on Friday, remained under investigation on Saturday, according to police.

Rizzo said Friday that “Billy” has been victimized several times previously.

In a written statement, Rizzo said police are “disgusted by what is shown on the video” and noted the investigation began when the department became aware of the video on Friday morning.

Rizzo said police are seeking witnesses to the attack and also are hoping to identify a female who can be heard speaking off-camera.

“We look forward to bringing those responsible before the judge to answer for it. It will be a pleasure to play the video in a courtroom. I’m sure others will see as I do that the Billy’s mental capacity is far greater than the two perpetrators,” Rizzo added.

Anyone who may have witnessed the attack is asked to contact the Niagara Falls Police Department at (716) 286-4711.