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Local Facebook video prompts police investigation

Medford police today launched a criminal investigation into whether a teenager's apparent harassment of "Downtown Dan" Doty captured on a video widely viewed on social media this week constitutes a hate crime.

The short video posted Monday on Facebook shows a teenager appearing to taunt and attempt to goad Doty into a fight, triggering outrage among Medford's Facebook community.

The video was posted on a teenager's Facebook page and has been shared widely.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau says, based on the video, that police are looking into whether the incident could lead to possible criminal charges of second-degree intimidation as well as harassment and disorderly conduct. They are all misdemeanors.

Police believe the video was shot Sunday in Fichtner-Mainwaring Park, Budreau says. Investigators already have interviewed Doty, who told police he was embarrassed by the video, Budreau says.

The teenager in the video has not been interviewed as of late this morning, Budreau says.

The video has spawned scores of Facebook comments condemning the teen's treatment of Doty, one of Medford's most recognized pedestrians who strolls the streets and chats with most passersby.

— Mark Freeman