A positive update to this horrific story. User librarisingnsf posted a diary on Monday detailing the event:
From NBC 10 Philly:
A violent attack on two gay men in Center City Thursday night left one of those men in the hospital with multiple fractures, according to sources. Sources tell NBC10 the 27-year-old and 28-year-old victims were walking from a restaurant in the area of 16th and Chancellor around 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Suddenly they were approached by a visibly intoxicated group of two men and six women.
Witnesses say someone in the group asked, "Is this your fucking boyfriend?" When one of the victims told them yes, the group allegedly attacked them, punching and kicking them in the face, head and chest. Police say one of the suspects then snatched a victim's bag containing a cellphone, wallet and credit cards. The group then fled in an unknown direction. "It was a bunch of screams at first," said witness Geoff Nagle. "...a lot of punching and kicking." Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, says he heard the group screaming homophobic slurs.
Video from Fox 29 Philly:
The attack occurred on the evening of September 11th. This attack is particularly shocking because the area of the attack - 16th and Chancellor St. - is in the heart of Center City and reasonably close to the Gayborhood.
Over the last day since the Philly PD released a surveillance video of the suspects, the public has been hard at work trying to identify the group of attackers. Apparently, they have been successful.
Here is the Philadelphia PD video of the suspects:
Notice the guy wearing the salmon red vest over a blue t-shirt at the right - starts at 40 seconds in. This will be important in just a bit.
After the video was released, a Twitter user named Greg Bennett (who is apparently a brother of a "Real Housewives" or some other reality show celebrity, and has over 150,000 followers) obtained a photograph allegedly showing the suspects earlier that evening at a group dinner. Mr. Bennett retweeted that photograph.
Click on the lower right photograph, and look in the center of the photo to the right of the balloons. That is definitely the same guy I described above, and the easier to ID from the video to the photo.
Now with this photo released, Philly residents started replying that the restaurant is no doubt a place called La Viola, which at a location of 253 S 16th St, is a mere 500 feet away from where the attack occurred.
A particular Twitter user known as "FanSince09" then went to La Viola's Facebook page and looked at people who had "Checked In" to the restaurant. After some time, FanSince09 matched many of the individuals in the photo and video to their Facebook page, and it's not pretty:
Apparently, the suspects have retained lawyers and are prepared to turn themselves into Police. The Philly PD has appreciated the "citizen detectives" but are being measured that no arrests have been made yet, as actual PD detectives are still compiling evidence.
I am hopeful that these individuals are arrested and brought to justice for their attacks. There is, as of now, no video of the attack itself, but there are a lot of witnesses to the attack. And the fact that some of the accused apparently post gay slurs on their Facebook accounts is very strong circumstantial evidence.
Lastly, there may be some here who are uncomfortable with the use of citizen detectives, even though it appears to have been successful here. I appreciate those concerns, which are particularly valid after the entire Reddit "FindBostonBombers" chaos.
For this event, the use of citizen detectives was measured. Twitter users and Philly residents identified the suspects, but they turned over this information to the police for their investigation. I feel that is responsible and acceptable.