BARNESVILLE — Barnesville Excessive College college students are being investigated after a hazing incident — believed to be an initiation ritual for a freshman soccer participant — apparently went too far.
The juvenile sufferer was not injured, however witnesses and a few who’ve seen a video recording of the incident discovered the conduct — together with allegedly threatening him with a automobile and pointing a crossbow at him — inappropriate.
“Primarily Friday night time (Oct. 1) at Barnesville Excessive College on the again car parking zone, typically the children would go on the market and hang around after soccer video games,” Barnesville Police Chief Rocky Sirianni stated. “Initially I believe it was simply a number of the older children messing with one of many youthful children, then I believe issues progressed manner too far. … Anyone there had witnessed what had occurred. They thought it went too far.
“I agree it did go too far. They contacted the juvenile’s mother and father and he reported to us the next day, and that’s once we began our investigation.
Sirianni stated the incident began out as a reasonably innocuous encounter, with the teenager being pushed round behind a pickup truck. However the state of affairs intensified from that time.
“There have been some issues that occurred that positively shouldn’t have occurred. No, nobody was bodily injured, however the child was shook up and it was greater than what he thought was going to occur,” Sirianni stated. “It was one thing he form of anticipated was going to occur, and he didn’t anticipate it to go so far as it did. It went manner too far. It went from just a few older children messing with a youthful child, and he possibly anticipated that to occur and was going together with it, but it surely went to a spot the place it shouldn’t have went.”
The chief stated at one level the members backed a truck near the sufferer and appeared a strap can be hooked up to him and the truck would pull him. A crossbow was additionally pointed on the teen.
“The crossbow was not loaded, however that might nonetheless be scary for the child as a result of clearly he wouldn’t know if it was loaded or not,” Sirianni stated. “There was a truck concerned and he was tied to a pole and so they had backed the truck near the pole and was revving the engine up.”
He stated your complete incident occurred within the area of about 10 minutes.
“We’ve concluded the investigation on our half and have turned it over to the (Belmont County) prosecutor’s workplace,” he stated. “I’ve been involved with the prosecutor’s workplace, and finally they’ll be those to find out (costs).”
Sirianni was not sure of the precise variety of members, however he stated officers took statements from eight “witnesses and concerned events.” Prices had been beneficial in opposition to two: the motive force of the truck and the participant who pointed the crossbow. He stated one among them is eighteen years outdated.
Sirianni added he believed costs would probably fall below the Ohio Revised Code’s penalties for hazing and end in low-level misdemeanor counts.
The ORC states that hazing has occurred when somebody is “coerced” into “any act of initiation into any pupil or different group or any act to proceed or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any pupil or different group that causes or creates a considerable danger of inflicting psychological or bodily hurt to any individual.”
The code classifies this as a misdemeanor of the second diploma, however Sirianni stated this solely took impact Oct. 7 — after the incident at the highschool. Due to this fact, he stated any felony cost would qualify for a lower-level misdemeanor.
“That change within the legislation went into impact after this offense had occurred,” Sirianni stated. “If it had occurred after a sure date, it will have been the next degree misdemeanor.”
He added that the varsity district can be investigating and pursuing disciplinary motion in opposition to the scholars who had been concerned, together with these whose motion didn’t rise to a felony degree.
“You hear that stuff like this has occurred prior to now and also you hope simply by it being delivered to our consideration now and steps being taken now, and steps being taken within the authorized course of and our involvement, I hope that it’s one thing that may be prevented from taking place sooner or later,” Sirianni added.
Belmont County Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan stated Tuesday that his workplace was contemplating the report and would announce this week whether or not costs can be filed.
“We’re taking a look at one juvenile and one grownup for the opportunity of a felony cost,” he stated. “There have been quite a lot of folks concerned, however not everyone was committing felony acts. Truly a number of the folks concerned got here to the rescue of the younger man.”
The teenager sufferer’s father spoke with Instances Chief. He stated the state of affairs is extremely unsatisfactory, including that his son stays shaken by the incident. He termed a low-level misdemeanor cost a “slap on the wrist” and stated harsher penalties are warranted. He stated these occurrences encourage a scarcity of belief in the neighborhood and the justice system.
The Barnesville Exempted Village College District superintendent’s workplace couldn’t be reached Tuesday for remark.
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