Wheaton Gives Community Service to Players Facing Felony Charges

September 21, 2017

Wheaton College, in Illinois, punished five football players by assigning them to write essays and complete community service for their role in a 2016 hazing episode. They also now face felony charges.

The Chicago Tribune reported that a first-year football player, who has since dropped out of Wheaton, was in his dormitory room in March 2016 when several of his teammates stampeded in and tackled him, wrapping his legs and arms in duct tape. The players covered his head with a pillowcase, carried him from the dorm and loaded him into the back seat of a car.

The students played the victim -- whom the Tribune did not identify -- Middle Eastern music, intimating that he had been kidnapped by Muslims, making offensive comments about them. The players at one point pulled down the victim’s pants and underwear and attempted insert to some sort of object into his rectum.

After the drive, the assailants dumped the victim on the baseball field; he was half-naked, still restrained and without his cell phone.

A second player was then carried onto the field. Both were found by classmates of the second player. The victim drove himself to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with muscle tears in both shoulders. His injuries required at least two surgeries.

Though the institution has declined to discuss consequences for the players, the Tribune reported they were required to write an eight-page essay and perform 50 hours of community service.

The five players -- James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos -- have warrants out for their arrest, signed by a county judge late Monday. They have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.

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