Four arraigned for alleged hazing at high school

WARREN (AP) — Four Detroit-area high school football players were arraigned Monday on misdemeanor assault and battery charges in connection with an alleged locker room hazing incident.

Michael Anthony Young, Sean Vanard Bonery and Rick Dwayne Pearson, all 18, and 17-year-old Galiko Tyreese Lovelace attend Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School.

The four among seven students accused of hazing. They were arraigned before 37th District Judge Matthew P. Sabaugh. All four pleaded not guilty and were released on $1,000 personal bonds.

Jack Kramer, the attorney for Lovelace, said he believes the investigation into the alleged hazing has been “tainted from the beginning,” adding his client denies being involved in hazing.

“He’s a good kid. He’s a good student. He’s a good athlete,” Kramer said in court. “He’s looking forward to clearing his name.”
Warren police began investigating the alleged assault on other players with broomsticks in October. After St. Clair County Prosecutor Michael Wending and Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer made a public plea for help several witnesses, including two alleged victims, came forward.

Three students were suspended for more than two months in connection with the alleged hazing. A racial discrimination lawsuit the students filed against the school was settled in January, and the students returned to class.

Lawyers for the four arraigned students have criticized the school’s handling of the investigation. All seven of the defendants charged are African American, as are the two alleged victims, although white football players were said to be involved.

“It’s interesting that all seven of the accused are African American,” Kramer said.

Added attorney Paul Addis, who is representing Pearson and Young, added that, “It just seems rather coincidental.”

The case is being handled by the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office due to a potential conflict of interest in Macomb County.

De La Salle officials have acknowledged that some form of hazing occurred and ended the team’s season by forfeiting a playoff game last fall. The school fired coach Mike Giannone in December.

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