Three Rye Teens Charged in Hazing Incident

Yesterday, Westchester County Police arrested and charged three Rye teen-agers with Hazing, Assault, and Unlawful Imprisonment following a joint investigation by the County and City of Rye police departments.

Published June 5, 2012 2:01 PM
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Yesterday, Westchester County Police arrested and charged three Rye teen-agers with Hazing, Assault, and Unlawful Imprisonment following a joint investigation by the County and City of Rye police departments.


Yesterday, Westchester County Police arrested and charged three Rye teen-agers with Hazing, Assault, and Unlawful Imprisonment following a joint investigation by the County and City of Rye police departments.

 

The investigation began Friday night after Rye Police learned that several teens were forced into a car in front of the Rye library and then driven to the county-owned Marshlands Conservancy. Two victims were then “paddled” multiple times with a large piece of lumber, causing bruising and other injuries to their buttocks and legs. One of the boys sought treatment at a local hospital for his injuries.

 

The incident is apparently part of a ritual involving Rye High School juniors and eighth graders who will become freshmen at the school in the fall.

 

Each of the teens, all of whom are minors, was charged with Assault 2nd Degree, a felony, and Hazing 1st Degree and Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd Degree, both misdemeanors. They were arraigned in Rye City Court Monday night and released.

 

Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Shine made the following statement this morning: “While this incident did not occur on school grounds or as part of any school activity, we strongly condemn anything that results in pain, injury, or humiliation of students. This is currently a police matter and the District is cooperating fully with their investigation. Pending the outcome of the police investigation, students may be disciplined if deemed appropriate. We encourage parents to come forward to police with any knowledge of this matter.”

 

Evidently, the issue of Freshman Day hazing at Rye High School has been “in the air” for several years. Below is a letter Rye Middle School principal Ann Edwards sent to parents in 2010.

 

The investigation into the incident is continuing. Anyone with information can contact County police detectives at 1-877-220-3560 or by text and email at TIPS@WCCOPS.COM. All information will be kept confidential.


Dear Parents,

 

Fear is in the air at Rye Middle School. There is a lot of chatter that June 4 is Freshman Friday, and eighth grade boys are fearful they are going to be attacked by balloons filled with Nair and have their bottoms smacked with paddles. It is hard to tell what is rumor and what is actually going to happen.

 

For several years, an odious spring tradition has taken place in Rye: junior boys paddle eighth grade boys off school grounds. In recent years we have heard of fewer instances of paddling, but the practice has not been extinguished.

 

Hazing is not tolerated in this community. The Rye Police Department will be on patrol tomorrow and will be on heightened alert all weekend. If you are the parent of an eighth grade boy, we suggest you encourage your son to keep a low profile this weekend. If the unthinkable should happen and you child should be on the receiving end of a hazing incident, we strongly encourage you to contact the Rye Police and help them identify the perpetrators. Together we can put an end to this dangerous tradition.

 

Have a safe weekend.

 

Regards,

 

Ann Edwards

2010



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