Cops say school ‘hazing’ was joke that mayor blew ‘out of proportion’
WEST NEW YORK — A police investigation has concluded that a video of supposed hazing by the high school baseball team was actually a practical joke.
The video turned into the latest skirmish between the school district and Mayor Felix Roque, who said the video was described to him by a teacher as showing a Memorial High School athlete bound, gagged and dragged around a field by teammates. Roque said he had not seen the video, which had been shared on social media.
Police Director Robert Antolos told the Jersey Journal that his department's investigation revealed the video was staged and everyone in it was a "willing participant." He said a player was tied up with duct tape but not gagged.
Roque, in a repost on his Facebook page of a News 12 New Jersey story about Antolos' conclusion, continued to call for a "full investigation to ensure that this never happens again."
"We must pay close attention to this situation which can affect the psychological, physical and emotional well being of our students," Roque said.
The mayor told News 12 he wants another investigation to make sure nothing is being "swept under the rug."
Antolos, school superintendent Clara Brito-Herrera and Roque did not immediately return requests for further comment on Friday morning.
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