Public transit beating in St. Louis sparked by question about Michael Brown: police

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ST LOUIS, Mo. (PIX11/CNN) -- A beating caught on video on a public transit train in St. Louis was allegedly sparked over a question about slain teenager Michael Brown.

Police say the 43-year-old victim was minding his own business Monday night around 9:54 p.m. when three suspects approached him, KTVI reported.

One suspect first asked the victim to use his cell phone. When the victim declined, the suspect then asked what he thought about the Michael Brown case.

The beat-down started after the victim responded, saying he hadn't given the case much thought, police said.

Around 1:40 in the YouTube video the suspect in the red shirt starts punching the victim in the face, kicking him before he runs off the train. The other suspects are also sure to get a swing in before they flee at the stop.

The victim, who didn't retaliate and merely guarded his face with his hands, remains seated after his assailants run away. He was left with bruises on his face and forehead. The first punch dug the frame of his eyeglasses into the skin of his nose.

He exited at a later stop, where he waited for police to arrive and refused medical treatment.

"I think it was disgusting that people were sort of laughing and smiling about it," the victim said. "And no one offered to help. No one seemed to call 911."

Condemnation of the beating has spread across social media, including from people who protested the shooting of Brown last year by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer was not indicted in Brown's death. St. Louis alderman Antonio French, a vocal community leader in the aftermath of Ferguson, tweeted his disappointment in the beating.

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