Six at N. County suspended for alleged assault at camp

Football incident is said to have occurred in August

September 21, 2002|By Stephen Kiehl and Pat O'Malley | Stephen Kiehl and Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Six football players at North County High School in Glen Burnie were temporarily suspended yesterday pending a school system investigation into an alleged assault at a football camp last month.

The Anne Arundel County school system received an unsigned letter dated Sept. 12 alleging that an assault took place while the school's varsity and junior varsity football teams were at a camp at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland from Aug. 23 to 25, schools spokeswoman Jane Beckett-Donohue said.

The state police were called in to investigate but are not expected to file criminal charges, Beckett-Donohue said. The school system's investigation is expected to be concluded next week. The system will determine if further disciplinary action will be taken against the students.

The six players - three junior varsity and three varsity - did not participate in games this weekend. North County's varsity team lost last night at Meade, 56-6, and is winless in three games this season.

A North County parent, who did not want to be identified, said his son, a varsity player, told him that the incident was "nothing more than usual horseplay. No one injured. No bruises. No one went to the coaches."

North County football coach Greg Justice did not comment at last night's game.

Said North County athletic director Mike Baker: "It's always disappointing when you take kids off campus for enrichment purposes and something like this happens. It only makes you not want to take kids on any trips like that."

North County students and parents were notified about the investigation in a letter sent home yesterday from principal Patricia A. Plitt.

The letter said, in part: "It has come to my attention that during the football camp at Deep Creek Lake, several players were involved in actions that are suspected as possible assault.

"Initially the information was turned over to the Department of Social Services and they began an investigation. The information was also shared with the state police department, who began a joint investigation. On Thursday, Sept. 19, information was released to the school so that we could begin to take appropriate and necessary action. As a result, several students have been temporarily suspended.

"The rumors have been rampant and there has been little information released due to confidentiality and the need to complete all investigations. I will do my best to keep everyone informed as we work through this."

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