ARTICLE - FAMU STUDENTS ARRESTED

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ARTICLE - FAMU STUDENTS ARRESTED

ARTICLE - FAMU STUDENTS ARRESTED

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  • 1. FROM: http://abcnews.go.com/US/florida-hazing-victim-sues-school-suspects-accused-beating/story?id=15146503#.TumIzVY8fnEIn accordance with Federal Laws provided For Educational and Information Purposes – i.e. of PUBLIC InterestFlorida A&M Hazing Victim Sues School, SuspectsAccused of Beating PledgeFAMU Band Members Arrested in Hazing IncidentBy CHRISTINA CARON and STEVE OSUNSAMI (@Steve Osunsami)ATLANTA Dec. 13, 2011A freshman Florida A&M student who filed hazing charges against three members of the schools marching bandis now suing the school, her attorney announced today.Bria Shante Hunter, whose thigh bone was broken in the alleged hazing incident, has been harassed since reportingthe beating to band director Julian White, her attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said."For any person who is subject to hazing, this is a big reason they do not come forward," said Bernstein.Bernstein also told reporters the freshman is pulling out of the university because of the incident and forfeiting her$82,000 scholarship.Hunter, 18, was not present at the afternoon news conference in Bernsteins Atlanta law office as she wascompleting her last exam, the lawyer said.The three Florida A&M students accused of beating Hunter appeared in court today. The judge set a bond of$2,500 for James Harris, 22, who is charged with hazing. Bonds of $10,000 were set for Sean Hobson, 23, and
  • 2. Aaron Golson, 19, who are charged with hazing and felony battery. They posted bail and have been released fromjail.The trio are members of a group called the Red Dawg Order, which includes band members from Georgia, mainlyAtlanta. The alleged beating victim, freshman clarinetist Bria Hunter, is from Atlanta.The criminal hazing charges come as Florida A&M and police are investigating the Nov. 19 death of the bandsdrum major Robert Champion. Police have said that they believe hazing was involved in Champions death.Champion, 26, was also from Georgia.Four unidentified students were dismissed for their role in Champions hazing death, which occured just threeweeks after Hunter was beaten. They have since been reinstated.Leon County Sheriff/AP PhotosAaron Golson, left, Sean Hobson, center, and... View Full SizeFAMU Hazing: 911 Tapes Released Watch VideoDrum Majors Death Linked to Hazing Watch VideoCornell Fraternity Sued Over Hazing Death Watch VideoHunter told police high-ranking band members began initiating her and several others in September. The initiationescalated to beatings on Oct. 31, Hunter told police, when Hobson and Golson pummeled her thighs more than 20times with their fists, at which point Harris intervened.On Nov. 1, Hobson -- who told police he was a member of the Red Dawg Order -- struck her thighs with a metalruler.On Nov. 7 she went to the hospital where doctors found blood clots in her legs, bone bruising and a cracked femur,according to court documents.
  • 3. Although possibly connected to Hunters hazing injuries, the Red Dawg Order wasnt on the radar of campuspolice."There have been no prior reported incidents involving the Red Dawg organization," FAMU Chief of PoliceCalvin Ross told ABCNews.com.Last month Hunter told ABC News affiliate WFTV she was beaten at least three times over the course of thesemester. "I was just scared because, like, that never happened before," she said.When asked why she participated in the hazing, she told the station, "So we can be accepted. If you dont doanything, then its like, youre lame."Hobson has denied all physical abuse allegations towards Hunter or any other pledge. Harris admitted to joiningthe Red Dawg Order as a freshman in 2008, but denied ever seeing Hunter get hit.At todays hearing Golsons attorney, Craig Brown, asked the judge to release his client without bond becauseGolson was a good student who was cooperating with police, The Associated Press reported. The judge denied thatrequest.During the police investigation several pledges gave police sworn statements saying they had seen Hobson andGolson repeatedly hit Hunter in the legs while Harris was present. The pledges also told police Hobson and Golsonwent too far in punishing Hunter. Hunter said she was singled out because she had been deemed the leader of thepledges, who were also allegedly hit during the Red Dawg Order meetings.Court documents state that Hobson sent a text message to Hunter and others saying, "I apologize for the hurt I putyou through. I apologize for the mental and physical strain that you have endured …"In addition to the alleged physical abuse, Hunter said the pledges were asked to pay Hobson $50 to $60 for a jumpsuit with the organizations colors. Both Hunter and the other pledges interviewed told police they never receivedthe outfit.