Dr. Drew surprised he feels 'sorry' for assailants in torture video: 'We have failed them'
Dr. Drew Pinsky (CNN)

Dr. Drew Pinsky says he was surprised by his reaction to the videotaped assault and torture of a mentally disabled white man by an acquaintance and three other people.

The celebrity doctor told TMZ that he "felt awful" for the victim, who relatives say was traumatized by the attack, but he also felt an odd sense of compassion toward the four suspected assailants.

"I had a very strange reaction: I felt sorry for the kids who were perpetrating it,” Pinsky told the website. “I really felt horrible for them. Their lives are going to be over.”

The black suspects have been charged with a hate crime in the attack, which they recorded and streamed on Facebook Live, in addition to other felony charges.

“We failed them," he added. "We have failed them.”

Pinsky said parents must "be on top of our kids" to prevent them from being led astray.

"We don’t need to be aggressive with our kids, and I’m afraid that we’ve sort of lose track of that line and we end up getting aggressive with kids and we end up with aggressive kids," he said. "I mean, if we were aggressive with a dog and the dog ended up biting people, would we be surprised?”

Pinsky's comments drew a strongly negative reaction on social media, but he said his words had been misinterpreted.