Police Launch De La Salle Football Hazing Investigation

Police expect to interview 31 football players.

WWJ News
November 01, 2019 - 2:18 pm

Photo: Charlie Langton / WWJ

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WARREN, Mich. (WWJ) -- A police investigation into the Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School football hazing allegations is now underway.

De La Salle administrators, including school president John Knight, met with the Warren Police Department Friday to give their initial statements regarding a hazing incident involving the varsity football team. The incident, which allegedly involved a broomstick, sparked an investigation by the school, which has now been given to police.

De La Salle officials released a statement Thursday, saying the "hazing has deeper roots" and was "more pervasive" than originally thought. 

The private, all-boys Catholic school made the decision Thursday to forfeit its first-round playoff game Friday, effectively ending the two-time defending state champions' season.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer says police expect to interview up to 31 De La Salle football players and several other people who have information about the incident.

Dwyer says police are concerned about the timing of the investigation. The news broke Thursday about the the incident and administrators did not immediately come to police, the commissioner said. He said Friday was the first day his department was "actually able to get any information whatsoever" regarding the alleged hazing incident or incidents. 

"We would have hoped that the report would have been made earlier," Dwyer told WWJ Friday evening. "Our understanding is that there was an internal investigation first and then some way, prosecutor’s office got involved. But the proper protocol would have been that we were notified immediately if it looked like it was a criminal matter, let us take over.”

Dwyer did say that Knight and De La Salle administrators are fully cooperating with the investigation.

The school has said the alleged hazing took place inside the locker room and involved multiple students, some of which participated and some of which witnessed but did not tell authorities about.

The commissioner was not able to discuss specifics of the ongoing investigation, but did say his office is determined to do a thorough job.

"As far as the alleged incident, or incidents, that occurred in De La Salle, they’re disturbing," Dwyer said.

"There’s a lot of misinformation out on social media. We’ll handle this investigation as we handle every investigation – we’ll be thorough, we’ll present our findings to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office and they’ll make a determination as far as what charges, if any charges, will be forthcoming," he said.

The school was closed Friday, along with several other metro Detroit Catholic schools, due to threats of a shooting during Mass on All Saints Day.

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