Warren Police Interviewing Multiple Persons Of Interest In De La Salle Hazing Case

WWJ News
November 04, 2019 - 2:30 pm
Warren Police Car

(Photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

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WARREN (WWJ) - Warren police expect it will take about a week to complete their investigation into alleged hazing that ended De La Salle High School's football season.

While rumors continue to fly about what exactly happened, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer remains tight-lipped on the details.

Dwyer told WWJ's Sandra McNeill on Monday that he expects his department will interview more than 30 people as they work to determine if anything criminal took place. 

"I had a team of detectives work over the weekend interviewing persons of interest, persons that may have information regarding the alleged hazing," Dwyer said.

He said detectives were interviewing school administrators "as we speak," and that they'd be interviewing other school staff and students as the investigation continues. 

Dwyer said police need to get parental permission for the student interviews, but he hoped to have all of it done by Friday. 

"We're interviewing the entire high school football team, all the players, and that's going to take time," he said. "So this investigation, I really won't have much to report on it until after all the interviews have been completed."

WWJ's Charlie Langton has learned from police officials that the private Catholic school's football season was canceled over a hazing incident allegedly involving players and broomsticks in the locker room. While the Detroit Free Press reported Friday that a broomstick was "used in a sexual manner," Dwyer has not confirmed that detail. 

While Dwyer last week had criticized the school for not reporting the incident to police, he now says: "The school administrators are fully cooperative; we're working closely with them."

The school sent a letter to parents to Friday, saying in part, "Today we are sorry to report that we have recently discovered a series of hazing incidents conducted by several players on our varsity football team, and many players on the team appear to have been aware of such hazing but failed to report it. As a result we have made the difficult but appropriate decision to forfeit Friday’s football game which will end the season.

"In addition, consistent with the school’s policies, we are reporting the hazing incidents to law enforcement to determine if such hazing involved criminal conduct."

Multiple sources say more than a dozen students were involved, or at least knew about what happened and failed to report it. 

The season ended on the eve of the state high school football playoffs that had the school facing Birmingham Groves High School in a pre-district playoff game, and caused De La Salle Collegiate, a Catholic all boys school, to forfeit its Round 1 postseason contest. De La Salle's football team has won three state championships in the last five years, including the last two.