Deputies: 2 teens charged in football hazing incident in McDowel - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: 2 teens charged in football hazing incident in McDowell County

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MARION, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office have charged two 15-year-old junior varsity football players at McDowell High School students accused of assaulting a new player with a broom.

The teens were charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hazing. One of the teens was also charged with felony obstruction of justice.

Deputies said another teen reported the assault happened on August 19.

During a hazing ritual in the boys’ locker room, deputies said the suspects poked another 15-year-old with a broom handle, which caused bruising to his rectum.

“Multiple team members knew about the hazing,” said Lt. Andy Manis of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office. “Some participated and some did not.”

Manis said the teens admitted that the hazing had been going on for a few years. The hazing typically involved poking first-year players with a broom handle but did not result in injury.
The obstruction of justice charge was filed after one of the teen suspects made attempts to cover up the truth, deputies said.

Manis said he was also in touch with the coach, athletic director, and principal, who were aware of the situation.

The McDowell County School District released a statement Friday afternoon stating that the school responded quickly. The statement is below.

As reported in today’s press release from the McDowell County Sheriff ‘s Department, two students have been charged with assault in an apparent hazing incident involving one current member and two former members of the JV Football team at McDowell High. The incident was initially reported to MHS principal Edwin Spivey. Spivey immediately reported the allegation to Superintendent Mark Garrett and local law enforcement officials. The subsequent investigation by Sheriff‘s Department investigators resulted in the charges of two students. The students were dismissed from the football team and are receiving school consequences in accordance with state and local Board policy.

According to Superintendent Garrett “Mr. Spivey responded swiftly after being informed and he and his staff at McDowell High School have cooperated fully with law enforcement during the conduct of the investigation. There is no place for hazing in our schools, and any alleged incident will be investigated to the fullest extent possible.” Garrett added “While we truly regret such an inappropriate incident, I am very proud of the student who had the courage to come forward. We encourage anyone with knowledge of a hazing related incident to please notify a school official.” 

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