DOCUMENT: Investigation, K-12

Friday Night Frights

New Mexico cops detail broomstick hazing at H.S. football camp

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Friday Night Frights

SEPTEMBER 12--A quartet of boys attending a high school football camp were assaulted last month by broomstick-wielding teammates in a violent hazing ritual that could lead to charges against the assailants and the New Mexico squad's coaches.

According to police interviews, the attacks were targeted against freshman and sophomore members of the Robertson High School team, which spent four days last month at a pre-season camp in San Miguel County. During the attacks, each of the younger athletes was pinned to the floor of a cabin and had a broomstick jammed over their shorts into their anus, according to reports prepared by New Mexico State Police investigators.

As seen in the these excerpts, one victim said his attackers 'poked him in the butt four times,' and 'forced in' the broomstick on the last attempt. The boy said he 'cried when they did it, because it hurt.' Another player said he could 'feel the broom inside him' and that he was warned during the attack to 'take it now' or he would 'get it worse later.' A third victim recalled that after he was assaulted, he was patted on the back by an assailant and told, 'Way to take it like a man.'

In addition to considering charges against several teenage attackers, police are examining whether the football team's coaches, all of whom resigned this week, ignored or failed to properly report the attacks. One boy said that, during his attack, a coach walked into the cabin and 'smirked' at the attackers and 'said something sarcastic' before leaving. Another victim said that during a football practice session a second coach warned linemen that if they did not run full speed, 'he would make them hop on their broom sticks.'

Coach Raymond Woods told police that when he first learned of the hazing, he addressed his squad and asked, 'What kind of guy wants to try to stick a broom stick towards another guy's butt?' Woods resigned this week, days before investigators released their 102-page file on the mid-August incidents. (5 pages)