Warrants Issued For 7 Students In Warren De La Salle Broomstick Hazing Case

WWJ News
February 20, 2020 - 3:02 pm

photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton

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WARREN (WWJ) - Assault charges have been filed against seven students in a case of alleged hazing at De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, according to police. 

The charges are all misdemeanors,Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said; with five of the defendants who are 18 years old being charged as adults, and the other two as juveniles. 

Despite some conflicting reports, Dwyer told WWJ Newsradio 950 that warrants have been issued in the case, and arraignments are expected to take place next week. 

The commissioner said there is more than one alleged victim involved. 

"After the St. Clair prosecutor denied the first warrant because the victim wouldn't come forward and cooperate, we received a number of calls from parents over at De La Salle indicating that their son or sons had been victims," Dwyer told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "Based on that, our investigation did continue, and as a result of that investigation — you might call it the second investigation — we again presented our findings to the St. Clair prosecutor."

The investigation started back in the fall after the school cut the two-time defending state champion's season short on the eve of the state playoffs as what was apparently a hazing ritual came to light. An investigation by Warren police determined that football players used broomsticks in a sexual manner to taunt other players in the locker room. Police said the incident did not involve penetration.

If convicted, each defendant will face up to 93 days in jail, a fine up to $500, or both; plus up to two years probation and restitution.

"From the beginning we indicated, obviously as a law enforcement agency, that a crime had been committed. We were responsible for that investigation and we actually interviewed close to 90 people — coaches, administrators and the football team at De La Salle, and it was a very extensive investigation," Dwyer said.

"So we're hoping that this will help bring closure to De La Salle, the parents and the students."

A spokesperson for De La Salle declined to comment, telling WWJ that school would issue a statement once it was formally advised of the charges. 

The case is being handled by the St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office due to a potential conflict of interest in Macomb County. St. Clair County prosecutors did not immediately return calls from WWJ for more information.