Report: Suspects in Gay Bashing Will Meet Police Today

Reality TV star, Twitter credited with helping advance the investigation.

Suspects in a Center City gay-bashing case will meet police today, 6ABC reports, after Philadelphia’s Twitter community helped police discover their identities.

Events developed quickly Tuesday after Philadelphia Police released surveillance video of up to 12 people it identified as suspects walking through Center City on Thursday evening near the time of the attack. Within hours, former Real Housewives of New Jersey castmate Greg Bennett tweeted this photo that he claims — because of similarities in clothing — includes some of the alleged suspects in the hate crime that happened on Thursday in Center City.

Not long after, police were contacted by lawyers for the suspects. 6ABC reports: “Late Tuesday night, Action News has learned attorneys for some members of the group have called police. They are making arrangements to bring their clients in for questioning on Wednesday.”

Police credited Philadelphia’s Twitter community with assisting the investigation:

Philadelphia native Melody Kramer, now an NPR social media guru, used Storify to document how the case came together on Twitter.

And Twitter user @FanSince09credited with determining that the group in the picture had eaten at Italian restaurant La Viola, and using Facebook check-ins to determine the identities of those who dined at the restaurant that night — quickly became a celebrity: He tweeted overnight that he was being asked to appear on morning news shows today.

He was on Fox 29 this morning:

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

This has become a big national story overnight. What we don’t know? If today’s meeting between suspects and police will result in charges. There’s much more to come.

Previously: Penn 6 Offers $10K Reward in Arrest of Center City Hate Crime
Previously: Police Release Video of Suspects in Attack of Two Gay Men in Center City
Previously: Police Seek Information About Possible Homophobic Attack
Previously: Pictures Released of Alleged Assailants in Center City Attack
Previously: Gay Men Attacked in Center City Released From Hospital With “Serious Visible Injuries”