Attorney: Oklahoma coach didn’t know of alleged assault
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City high school student was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Friday for allegedly using a broom handle to assault another student.
Court records indicate the felony charge was filed against Dawson Michael McClain, 18, of Bethany in connection with the Sept. 28 assault in the football locker room at Putnam City West High School.
Charges have not been filed against three juveniles that investigators say were also involved in the alleged assault. Court records do not indicate whether McClain is represented by an attorney.
Records allege that McClain and two juvenile students restrained the 14-year-old victim “with intent to do bodily harm” while a fourth penetrated him with a broom handle.
School officials have said the students were disciplined by the school until the investigation was complete. An attorney for a football coach who was suspended following the incident, identified by The Oklahoman as Corey Russell, said the coach wasn’t in the locker room when the incident happened and knows nothing about it.
“Coach would never tolerate this. Ever,” attorney Joe White said.
The students, who range in age from 15 to 18, told investigators it was a tradition that had been passed down from “class to class,” according to a report by the Putnam City Campus Police Department. Russell took over the football program last year, his attorney said.
In a similar case last year in Bixby, Oklahoma, four ex-high school football players have pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape by instrumentation. No trial date is set and attorneys for the teens sought to move the case to juvenile court.
A 2017 Associated Press investigation examining sexual violence among students found teammate-on-teammate assaults occurred in all types of sports.