McDOWELL COUNTY – Two McDowell High School junior varsity football players have been charged with hazing a teammate with a broom handle.
The 15-year olds are accused by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office of causing an injury to a first-year player as part of a hazing ritual. The students are charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hazing.
The 15-year old victim says the suspects poked him with a broom handle that led to an injury to his rectum in the incident reported on August 19.
Sheriff’s investigators add that hazing of first year players – by returning student-athletes – has been going on for the last couple of years. The investigation found players were typically poked in the buttocks with a broom handle as part of the ritual, but this incident led to an injury.
“Multiple team members knew about the hazing,” said Lt. Andy Manis of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office in a written statement. “Some participated and some did not.”
The lieutenant says the investigation also led to an obstruction of justice charge being filed against one of the accused after the teen suspect made attempts to cover up what happened.
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office says their deputies kept in touch with the McDowell High athletic director, coach and principal throughout the investigation.