The case of viral videos showing the beating of a teenager in Wisconsin now centers on the person who recorded the violence. Three people have been arrested for the incident that ended with footage of the incident being posted to social media showing a teenager identified as Jacob Gunderson being relentlessly beaten for allegedly stealing drug paraphernalia.
Eighteen-year-olds Ruby Jimenez Nevarez, Chase Passon and Alexis Strenke were all charged with battery. Local news outlet WEAU reported that an unidentified juvenile was also involved and referred to a juvenile court. An online petition identified the juvenile as Hannah Buchholz, claimed she recorded the footage without intervening and demanded she be charged as an adult in the case.
“Hannah Buchholz uses racial slurs whilst she eggs on the beating the entire time she is recording, even going as far as to partake in the beating as well, showing off her bloodied hand at one point,” the Change.org petition said in part. It went on to claim that Buchholz “was released on just a probation violation, while everyone else in the incident was charges [sic] with humble misdemeanors.”
The petition also provides a narrative of the events in question. It accuses Strenke of driving Gunderson to his grandmother’s house, where “they threw him out of the car all bloody and helpless and left him expecting his grandma to take care of him.”
Police reportedly were notified after someone saw the footage on social media and called law enforcement.
Passon, identified as the primary aggressor, was the main person punching Gunderson, who was shown sitting on a sofa when he was accused of stealing vaping equipment as well as the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax. Passon reportedly told police Gunderson was high on Xanax, a possible reason why Gunderson was not seen defending himself on a pair of videos.
Dozens of people participated in a rally in Eau Claire on Saturday afternoon to support Gunderson, whose mother was in attendance.
“No human being should treat another human being like that ever, no matter what the circumstances are,” Becky Gruber told local news outlet WQOW. “And while I understand everyone’s angry and they want to see justice served… Justice will be served through nonviolent ways because that’s the way life is and should be.”
Gunderson was at the rally but did not speak publicly. He is reportedly recovering from his injuries that sparked speculation of brain damage. However, a GoFundme account started to pay for Gunderson’s hospital bills said he does not have brain damage. The online crowdfunding effort seeking $5,000 to pay the medical bills surged to more than double that as of Sunday morning.
Aside from battery, Passon — described as the ringleader in the beating — was facing charges of possession of narcotic drugs, disorderly conduct, two counts of felony bail jumping and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.
Passon, Jimenez Nevarez and Strenke all have court dates scheduled for August.