5 Wheaton College Football Players Facing Felony Charges
This week five Wheaton College football players accused of a 2016 hazing incident were issued arrest warrants. A DuPage County Judge signed arrest warrants for James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos. According to prosecutors, the men were charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint in the hazing case.
According to the victim’s account, the unnamed freshman was in his dorm room when the accused teammates entered the room, tackled him down, punched him and had his legs and wrists duct taped together. The night the victim was taken from his dorm there was a “root beer kegger” in the residence hall, but no one stopped the players from carrying the victim out in only his shorts taped up with a pillowcase over his head. The attack got even stranger when the players put Middle Eastern music on, made offensive comments about Muslims and suggested he was being kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, according to the victim’s account of the attack. The freshman stated to investigators that even more duct tape was put on the freshman during the drive and several attempts were made to put an object into the victim’s rectum, and when he yelled for them to stop he was beaten.
The freshman was then dropped off on a baseball diamond at a park nearby. Before leaving, the attackers threw dirt on the freshman and took his cellphone, leaving him half-naked there, the documents state. According to weather records, it was about 45 degrees out that night. While the victim didn’t know how to get back to campus, about 10 minutes later another player was dumped on the field with the freshman. The two abandoned victims were eventually found and driven back to campus by classmates looking for the second player.
According to documents, he drove himself to the hospital after he called his parents to tell them what had happened. Records show he suffered muscle tears in both shoulders and sustained multiple bruises and scratches. The freshman has had two surgeries related to the incident since the attack back in March 2016. He transferred out of Wheaton College very quickly following the incident and is now a student at a college in Indiana.
“This has had a devastating effect on my life,” the victim stated in investigation documents. “What was done to me should never occur in connection with a football program or any other activity.”
Wheaton College has also released a statement in regards to the alleged incident that they are “deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team.” Previous to the arrest warrants the college conducted its own investigation by an independent third-party and had taken “corrective actions.” However, the college stated it was “unable to share details on these disciplinary measures due to federal student privacy protections.”
The judge has set $50,000 bonds against the players accused. All five involved are expected to turn themselves into authorities.