1 student faces charges after Cromwell High School football hazi - WFSB 3 Connecticut

1 student faces charges after Cromwell High School football hazing allegations

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The Cromwell High School football team is at the center of a hazing investigation. (WFSB photo) The Cromwell High School football team is at the center of a hazing investigation. (WFSB photo)

A 16-year-old member of the Cromwell High School football team is facing charges after allegations of hazing surfaced last week.

Cromwell Superintendent of Schools Paula Talty said the investigation started on the first day of school, one week ago, after a parent filed a police complaint.

On Aug. 25, the team was in the locker room prior football practice when police said a juvenile, whose name was not released due to his age, walked around with a belt.

Police said an unknown team member turned off the lights and the juvenile struck four students with the belt. The teammates suffered “minor injuries,” police said.

The students were told not to talk about the incident and “this never happened.”

After a “thorough investigation” by the school resource officer, one juvenile was issued a juvenile summons for breach of peace and hazing.

Police said it appears other team members were involved in the incident, but “due to conflicting statements,” no others will be charged by police.

On Wednesday, school sources said Cromwell High School football Coach Chris Eckert had been placed on paid administrative leave while officials probe the hazing allegations.

The police investigation is also separate from the investigation done by the Cromwell Board of Education or any state agency.

"I'd be very upset and outraged, and would probably want to send my kids to another school, in another town," said parent Bill Vincenzi.

In a letter to parents, Portland’s superintendent said the allegations involved several underclassmen from both schools.

"As a school district, we don't tolerate, and never tolerate any kind of harassment towards our students, so should the outcome of the investigation yield information that points to students being mistreated in any way, we will take appropriate action," Talty said.

The teen's name is not being released because of his age.

In the meantime, the team, which also consists of Portland High School students, is preparing for its first game of the season. Their first game is on Sept. 12 against Coginchaug Regional High School.

On Thursday, Talty released a statement that said: "Cromwell Public Schools completed their internal investigation into the matter involving the Cromwell High School Football team on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. This is also the date, that I was informed by the Captain of the Cromwell Police Department that they had completed their investigation as well. However, we are not in a position to provide any further information until the Department of Children and Families, have concluded their findings. They tell us it could be any time from now, up until 45 days from the time in which they were contacted. The DCF findings will dictate what further steps and or disciplinary actions will be taken."

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