Assault charges requested for 3 teens in Warren De La Salle football team hazing

Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 08, 2019

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Warren Police Department is requesting assault charges be filed against three teens in connection to the hazing in the Warren De La Salle High School football team.

One 18-year-old, who was age 17 at the time of alleged incident on Oct. 19, could face being charged as an adult. The two 16-year-olds will be charged as juveniles.

According to Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, the only alleged victim "does not wish to further charges and has declined to be interviewed by law enforcement."

Prosecutor Eric Smith said that one of the office's senior assistant prosecutors is a potential material witness in the case and creates a conflict of interest that "precludes us from making the necessary charging decisions on this case."

The prosecutor's office will now request that another county prosecutor's office review the matter as it relates to the investigation.

Just last week, the school announced it was canceling its football season and forfeiting a playoff game because of the allegations.

Police have been looking into claims that varsity football players used broom sticks in a sexual manner to haze younger players.

Dwyer would not comment on details of the investigation, only noting there was no penetration.

"It's not a culture of the school, it's not a culture of the football team," said De La Salle parent Joe Hallman. He had three boys attend the school, and currently has a sophomore on the football team.

Hallman said he's not aware of who specifically is involved in the alleged hazing, and that most parents are not either. He told 7 Action News he believes the actions of few are affecting many.

“These are teenage kids. And I feel horrible for the victim, but there’s three kids that were involved in this and they’re the ones that should be held accountable," he told 7 Action News.

Out of 87 players on the team, investigators have interviewed 69 of them, in addition to six faculty members including the coach, athletic director and parents.

Dwyer said some suspended players are not cooperating, and that a dozen were stopped from talking to police by their parents.

7 Action News reached out to De La Salle for a comment; the school said it does not comment on student discipline.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story reported that the teens had been charged. Police updated us and said they hadn't been charged, but they were asking that assault charges be filed.