Posts Tagged ‘crime’
A figure in one of the most notorious cases of school sports hazing in recent memory — and his family — were counseled by their attorneys to stay silent in the face of accusations of possible sexual crimes, intense media coverage and a backlash from some locals. After breaking their silence, the figure and his family proved their attorney provided wise counsel.
Scott Laskowski was one of four Carmel (Ind.) High School basketball players (now all graduated) who faced criminal charges following two separate hazing incidents, one on a team bus on the way back from a game, and one in the team locker room. Laskowski pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to the locker room incident, though he was suspended from the team and expelled from classes. Laskowski is the son of former Indiana University basketball player and announcer John Laskowski, making him, by accident of birth, the most prominent of the four accused. (Two others have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the locker room incident, while other charges have been dropped, and two players — not including Laskowski — are still going through the court system over the bus incident.)
I’ll save you the slog through a six-page story on The Indianapolis Star’s website to get to the meat (on page six):
When the Laskowskis finally decided to speak, they lashed out at the media and the school and the accuser. They said their son is the real victim. The school took one student’s word against their son’s. His accuser — whose family plans a $2.25 million lawsuit against the school district — is in it for the money. And the media excess was motivated by greed.
My response: boo fucking hoo.
I’ll give the Laskowskis that having stalkers (including one person arrested for doing so) posting “a sex offender lives here” signs on their lawn and following them through the streets of Carmel was way over the top, and I don’t blame the family for moving 65 miles south to Bloomington to get away from it.
But, for Christ’s sake, when you have a victim who is reported to have had various objects shoved up his anus, you don’t go around proclaiming yourself or your golden boy as “the real victim.” There is no way to come out of that unscathed.
The story dwells on all the information that wasn’t released because of laws governing school privacy and grand-jury testimony. (It’s nice to see that the Laskowskis and those sympathetic with the victim can agree on one thing — that the school totally mishandled the situation.) But it doesn’t shed a lot of light on what Laskowski did or saw.
His guilty plea came for, as he put it, holding the ankles of a victim attacked in the locker room, and he denies doing anything on the bus. OK, we’ll take him at his word. So what did Laskowski see on the infamous bus ride? Did he see something happen? Are the others guilty? Is the victim making this up? In six pages, either Scott Laskowski wasn’t asked, or the interview was conditioned on the reporter not asking. Or, given the Laskowski family’s self-absorption, at least as it came across in the story, nobody knows or cares.
One of the many reasons I advocate against laws allowing guns at youth sports events is the powder-keg of emotions in the stands. And what can set it off is not necessarily anything going on in the game. A youth sports event can be a wondrous event to bring families together in harmony — or a horrible excuse for broken families to get together to settle their differences.
MIDDLETOWN, Ind. — Police say a man stabbed his wife’s ex-husband during a fight that broke out during a youth basketball game at a Central Indiana school. Henry County Sheriff Butch Baker says 34-year-old Eric Allred, Muncie, suffered a non-life-threatening stab wound to his torso and was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Baker tells The [Muncie] Star Press that Allred and 27-year-old Christopher Ellis, Middletown, started arguing in the bleachers during Saturday’s game at Shenandoah Elementary School. Baker says the fight then moved into a restroom, where Ellis attacked Allred with a knife.
The [Anderson, Ind.] Herald Bulletin reports Allred is the father of a child who was playing.
Ellis was being held in the Henry County Jail on preliminary aggravated battery charges.
OK, let me rephrase that — people shouldn’t be bringing any weapons to a kids game. At least, though, a knife can do limited damage compared to a gun. And, with no guns allowed, a trigger-happy vigilante can’t decide to step in the middle of a, shall we say, dicey domestic situation.
A Pop Warner football coach was zapped with a stun gun Tuesday night during an argument with a parent at Sandalwood High School, Jacksonville police said.
Now 43-year-old Roxine Cornela Cobb of the 700 block of Oaks Plantation Drive in Arlington has been arrested on charges of battery and discharging a weapon on school grounds, according to the police report.
Robert Medley II told police he had argued with the woman and her son who plays on his football team Monday night. The confrontation resumed about 6:15 p.m. the next day when the woman walked up to Medley and zapped him in the chest with the stun gun, the arrest report said.
Medley, 41, said he slapped the stun gun out of her hand and the argument ended as police arrived. Cobb told police she didn’t think she actually zapped him.
Two witnesses confirmed the coach’s account, police said.
Pressed for further comment about how he felt about this turn of events, the coach said: “Shocked.”
Benjamin Alexander-Bloch of the New Orleans Times-Picayune is working on his own “Game Of Shadows,” like those San Francisco Chronicle reporters who blew the lid off of steroids and Barry Bonds. Except that the steroid scandal Alexander-Bloch uncovered is a little bit more, shall we say, under the radar.
A youth baseball coach who beat up a rival coach after a crucial Slidell [La.] Bantam Baseball Association game in 2008 had off-the-chart levels of animal steroids in his system after his sentencing for battery, according to test results recently obtained by The Times-Picayune.
Wait a minute — it makes some sense that you might take steroids to play baseball, but to coach it?
According to Alexander-Bloch’s story, the judge who gave Jason Chighizola, 34, a 30-day jail sentence for beating up a rival coach in full view of young players and parents happened to notice that Chighizola seemed a bit unusually chiseled, and ordered him regularly tested for substance abuse. This order came Sept. 1, 2009, or more than a year after Chighizola, who coached the 8-year-old Yankees, beat up Robert Johnson, 35, of the 8-year-old Red Sox following a game the Yankees lost, putting the Red Sox in first place. And you know ESPN Slidell was covering that series way more than any other more interesting baseball. Damn Yankees-Red Sox bias.
It appears Chighizola, um, passed his test more than any test he may have ever taken.
Chighizola tested positive for trenbolone metabolite, which is used by veterinarians on livestock to increase muscle growth and appetite, the records show. He also tested positive for stanozolol metabolite, which is often used along with other anabolic steroids and is known for increasing strength while not leading to excess weight gain.
The results were conducted by a California company, Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, and measured the balance between Chighizola’s testosterone and epitestosterone. If the ratio of testosterone in a person’s system is greater than six times the amount of epitestosterone, then it generally means that there are steroids in the person’s system.
In Chighizola’s case, that ratio equaled 86, the records show.
While Chighizola’s attorney says he has tested negative ever since, the coach — who allegedly was reacting to a smart-ass comment by Johnson when he pounded the shit out of him — can’t set foot on a field in Slidell ever again. It could have been worse: if anyone had known the amount of trenbolone metabolite Chighizola had in him, he might have been sentenced to become a delicious steak.
Here’s the tally, presented May 17, from the long-simmering hazing investigations involving four senior basketball players at Carmel (Ind.) High School:
* Oscar Faludon — one count battery, Class A misdemeanor, two counts criminal recklessness, Class B misdemeanor
* Scott Laskowski — three counts criminal recklessness, Class B misdemeanor
Both indicted in relation to locker room incidents at Carmel High. They will be tried in their home of Hamilton County (north suburban Indianapolis).
* Brandon Hoge — one count battery, Class A misdemeanor, one count criminal recklessness, Class B misdemeanor, one count battery, Class B misdemeanor
* Robert Kitzinger — one count battery, class A misdemeanor, one count criminal recklessness, Class B misdemeanor, one count battery, Class B misdemeanor
Both indicted in relation to an incident on a team bus driving back from Terre Haute. They will be tried in Hendricks County (west suburban Indianapolis), where the criminal conduct is alleged to have taken place.
I’ll have more on this later. I’m watching the news conference being streamed on Fox59.com.
A quick take:
The grand jury, which heard evidence from at least 57 witnesses, did not come back with any sex crimes or felonies, as alleged in the first incident reports. Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp says the school cooperated fully and is putting a peer-to-peer program in place to help ensure these incidents don’t happen, or if they do, they don’t come out a month after the fact, as happened in the basketball case. However, she did say the school’s initial discussion of the hazing not rising to the level of criminal activity was a result of administrators not having enough information at the time. The grand jury looked at evidence related to three coaches who were supervising, or should have been supervising, at the time of the incidents, but decided no charges should be brought against them.
Leerkamp isn’t divulging details on the indictment, which is sealed because it came from a grand jury. However, she’s very publicly indicting the culture that led to the alleged incidents. In many cases, she said, students interviewed proffered the view that the victims brought it on themselves.
“How does a victim ask to be violated?” Leerkamp said. “That attitude was out there” that a victim indeed does.
Will the players get convicted? They’ve retained Jim Voyles, probably the best defense lawyer in the Indianapolis area. If the East Coast lawyers Mike Tyson’s team hired let Voyles, as a hometown assistant, try the case in the Indianapolis court instead of just push paper, Tyson would have never seen a day in jail, because he never would have been convicted of rape.
The prosecution also will have to deal with, by its own admission, that the kids got the attitude that victims deserve their fate from the adults around them. “I have jurors who have said a women asked to be raped, because of what she was wearing, and that a child asked to be molested, because they crawled on the lap” of an adult who had previously violated them, Leerkamp said.
How can athletes get away with hazing? Because adults allow them to.
“That’s at the core of what happened at Carmel High School, and the core of what we have to deal with,” Leerkamp said.