Ahmad Holt, a 22-year old Newark man who was released from prison just seven months ago, was identified as the man in the YouTube video responsible for savagely whipping another man over a $20 debt allegedly owed by the man’s father. The video gained national attention and had over 40,000 views before it was ultimately removed from the website.
Holt has been charged withRobbery, Aggravated Assault, andConspiracy. His alleged cameraman, Jamaar Grey, and another individual identified as Raheem Clark, were charged as co-conspirators. Grey surrendered himself at the Newark Police Department, while Clark was arrested by the city’s fugitive apprehension team. Holt was already incarcerated in Trenton (at the Central Reception & Assignment Facility “CRAF”) on an undisclosed charge. He had been in since February 5th, just days before the video went viral.
A press conference was held earlier today, during which Newark Mayor Cory Booker called the videotaped beating a “human tragedy.” He banged his hands in frustration as he stated, “We do not tolerate this type of evil in the community… This is not who we are.” The defendants’ actions were condemned by various members of the city’s council, who were also present.
Newark Police Chief DeMaio indicated that their investigation revealed the incident happened in August of 2012, but police were not alerted to it until the video went viral last week. Records show that Holt had just been released from prison on July 30, 2012, meaning he was free for only a matter of days before the incident. He served approximately 18 months for Eluding,Weapons offenses, and Drug offenses said to have occurred in December of 2010.
The victim of the brutal beating has also been identified. He is a 21-year old male, who is “reluctantly cooperative.” He has apparently moved from the area since the incident.
On the video, Holt is heard ordered the naked victim to yell the phrase “Doggy Dawg” and tell the camera that it’s a “Doggy Dawg” world. (This is a clarification from information released yesterday that the phrase was “dog eat dog” world.) “Doggy Dawg” is apparently Holt’s street name. He and his co-conspirators also have known gang ties.
For more information, see the Star Ledger article entitled, “Police identify suspects in video of naked Newark man being whipped over $20 debt.”
Depending on the degree of the charge, if convicted of Robbery, Holt could be facing upwards of 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, with 85% to be served before the benefit of parole as per the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) for violent offenses. Also depending on the reason for his current incarceration, he could be ordered to serve a consecutive sentence. His co-conspirators likely have similar exposure. Their gang ties, if substantiated, may also serve to lengthen their sentences.