Win McNamee/Getty Images
Members of the Marching 100, Florida A&M University's marching band, perform before the Super Bowl in Feb. 2010.
Members of the Marching 100, Florida A&M University's marching band, perform before the Super Bowl in Feb. 2010. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Three marching band members at Florida A&M University are accused of beating of a female band member, as part of a hazing ritual linked to the university's renowned Marching 100 band. Today's allegations come as Florida police continue to investigate a separate hazing incident, one that may have killed FAMU drum major Robert Champion, Jr.
The accused, all men, appeared today in a Florida courtroom and two of them plan to fight the charges, according to AP.
The report alleges Sean Hobson and Aaron Golson beat the woman at the apartment of James Harris, who is charged with helping plan the incident. Police say there were two attacks. The first was on October 31, when Bria Hunter, a clarinet player, tried to evade a meeting of the "Red Dawg Order", a group of FAMU students from Georgia. She was reportedly punched many times on her thighs.
At a meeting on November 1, she apparently was unable to recite certain information on demand about the group. As a result, according to CNN, Hunter and other band members were struck repeatedly across the thighs with a metal ruler. When she was finally taken to the hospital a week later, doctors discovered blood clots in her legs, bone bruises and a broken thigh bone.
Last month, WFTV spoke to Hunter, who said she participated in the hazing because it was the only way to win acceptance. Now her attorney says Hunter will leave FAMU, giving up her scholarship, because she's been harassed since reporting the matter to school authorities. The Atlanta Journal Constitution says Hunter now plans to sue the school.
Hunter's reported beatings occurred about three weeks before Robert Champion's death: the drum major died Nov. 19 in an Orlando parking lot after a band performance. He'd been vomiting and police say his death is linked to hazing.
As Eyder wrote, Champion's death led to the dismissal of the FAMU band director and later, four students from the school. All were reinstated, although the band director is on administrative leave, as Florida authorities investigate what happened to Champion.