Grosse Ile high school lacrosse team investigated for killing guinea pig
Reports say some players smeared the animal's blood on their faces
GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Police and the Grosse Ile School District confirm they are investigating the school's boys lacrosse team for animal cruelty.
Students and parents tell Local 4 it involves a guinea pig and a few players on the Grosse Ile High School lacrosse team, not the whole team. They say some of the team members decided to sacrifice the animal. Local 4 is told one student actually drank its blood and potentially two or three others decided to smear the guinea pig's blood on their faces.
Here is a statement from the Grosse Ile School District:
"On May 9, 2016, the Grosse Ile School District received information that one or more members of the District’s lacrosse team engaged in cruelty to an animal. The allegations related to the incident have resulted in the lacrosse season competitions being suspended by the District, pending the outcome of the investigations by law enforcement and the School District. At the request of law enforcement, the School District is holding its investigation in abeyance until law enforcement has completed its investigation." -- Joanne Lelekatch, superintendent.
School officials refused interviews about the allegations.
The rest of the student body is embarrassed, said one student.
"It was just a select group and I feel bad for the rest of the team. They've had their season canceled because of it. It wasn't their fault, it was just a small minority of the team," said Chris DeAngelis, a senior at the high school.
Phillip Camilleri is the former lacrosse team captain. He said this wasn't some kind of ritual.
"It wasn't done year-to-year. I can only emphasize that this was a one-time thing. This isn't necessarily a great expression of the lacrosse team, obviously," he said.
Camilleri is now in college. He is stunned by the news.
"For years we've been doing great things on and off the field. It's just a shame to see a coach who put 15 years into a program have it all come down in one day," he said.
Police continue to investigate animal cruelty. The school is on standby until the police finish their investigation.
Michigan's penal code states "an owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of an animal shall not negligently allow any animal, including one who is aged, diseased, maimed, hopelessly sick, disabled, or nonambulatory to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture, or pain."
If a person violates the penal code, he or she could face prison time of up to 93 days.
The Michigan Humane Society has a Cruelty Investigation Department which asks for residents to report incidents here.
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