Wheaton College Football Players Charged for Violent Attack

Credit Chicago Tribune

The Thunder, a Division III program ranked fourth in the nation, are scheduled to play at Elmhurst College Saturday.

Volpe said all the young men are expected to turn themselves in within a few days, but there is no set deadline on when they must do so.

The players - Kyler Kregel, 21, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; James Cooksey, 22, of Jacksonville, Fla.; Samuel TeBos, 22, of Allendale, Mich.; Noah Spielman, 21, of Columbus, Ohio; and Benjamin Pettway, 21, of Lookout Mount, Ga. - have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint. Police said the five players dragged a freshman teammate kicking and screaming from his dorm room past year, tied him with duct tape, and left him beaten and half-naked with two torn shoulders on a baseball field.

In a statement, Wheaton College said that it is "deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team".

"The conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable", the school said. "What was done to me should never occur in connection with participation in a football program or any other activity", the player said in a statement provided by Ekl.

"There were a lot of things in play from the get-go", he said. The victim apparently left the school after the incident. When he tried to fend them off, he says they used duct tape to bind his bare limbs together. Though there was a "root beer kegger" taking place in the dorm that night, no students or college employees intervened as the freshman was carried out of the building, according to the records. They allegedly placed a pillow cover over his head, piled him into a auto, threatened him with racial remarks, and attempted to sodomize him with a foreign object.

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According to the victim, the players "played Middle Eastern music and made offensive comments about Muslims" and told him that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, and he was their goat.

The freshman told investigators that he was placed in the back seat of a teammate's vehicle and held down by at least two players while others piled into the vehicle.

He told investigators that he was taken to a baseball field.

After the drive, the assailants dumped the victim on the baseball field; he was half-naked, still restrained and without his cell phone. His injuries required at least two surgeries. He withdrew from the school a short time later.

"Our internal investigation into the incident, and our engagement with an independent, third-party investigator retained by the College resulted in a range of corrective actions".

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.


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