Police investigating ‘disturbing video’ released during PEM homecoming of alleged hazing
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(ABC 6 News) – The Plainview Police Dept. has opened an investigation into alleged hazing during Plainview-Elgin-Millville (PEM) High School’s homecoming festivities after a new ‘disturbing’ video surfaces.
According to the Plainview Police Dept. Police Chief Jason Timm, over the last few days new information has come forward that prompted police to investigate the situation further.
This comes just days after an investigation was conducted by the school district, determining the “behavior” not hazing, sexual harassment, racial based or included physical injury, according to the district’s superintendent, Darrin Strosahl.
Superintendent Strosahl said the series of “pranks” ultimately led to the cancellation of several homecoming group events Friday night.
While pranks are a tradition of homecoming week at PEM, this year things took a turn.
“There was a potential hazing incident that a kid was possibly tied up, made fun of, possibly assaulted, left by himself for a while,” said Chief Timm.
A community member sent a video of the alleged hazing to ABC 6 News, which we decided not to publicize, showing a student with their legs taped together outdoors. Other teens can be heard in the background telling the victim to ‘put his hands behind his back’ before the video fades to black.
“Granted it is very short but it shows how I feel a kid is being humiliated and being bullied and to me it is disturbing,” said Chief Timm. “I can only imagine what it would feel like to be the parent of that child.”
New urgency is being felt from Chief Timm as his team works to get to the bottom of this. According to Chief Timm, his sergeant investigator as well as the school resource officer are talking to multiple student witnesses inside PEM throughout this week.
“There is quite a list of charges that could be filed depending on what we find and prove that actually happened,” said Chief Timm.
While police are investigating, many parents in the district are taking to social media and asking for the immediate expulsion of the students involved.
Some of those parents refused to go on camera with ABC 6 News for fear of what they call “retaliation from the school district”.
ABC 6 News reached out to Superintendent Strosahl multiple times. He would not do an interview with us, nor answer any of our questions about how the district is handling the situation.
Superintendent Strosahl did send a new letter to families Wed. night, saying that the district was hiring an independent investigator. He also condemned the behaviors and said the school was taking “corrective action” but that he could not say what that action was or name the students involved.
“I’ve been talking with the family and county attorney on it, and we’re working diligently to get the facts and cut the rumors, so that justice can be served on behalf of the victim, concerned kids and parents of the school,” said Chief Timm.
While many questions still remain, police say they are determined to get to the bottom of this homecoming nightmare.
Chief Timm wants any students that know any information about the alleged hazing to please come forward. If students want to stay anonymous and not attract attention, just let an officer know and the statement can be made privately.