A group of wrestlers at the Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming, allegedly tortured a freshman teammate, after tying him on a bench and waterboarding him.
The disturbing incident took place on Jan. 3.
As a group of students started teasing the freshman, who has not been named, he winked at them. It was then when he was grabbed by at least three wrestlers, who forcibly took him inside the school's locker room.
According to a source, who is close to the victim and wants to remain anonymous, the struggling teammate attempted to escape but his attackers “yanked him back, and they threw him on a bench.”
“One kid held his legs, two other kids held his arms, they put a towel over his head, and one kid said, ‘Let’s piss in his mouth,’” the accuser recalled.
The upperclassman teammates placed a towel over the victim’s face and began pouring water on his nose and mouth, till he choked. As if this wasn’t enough, they then rubbed a cream on the victim’s face, which is supposed to be used after a match to protect against skin infections, and told him to walk in the shower and wash it off.
According to the report, while the freshman victim was in the shower, a coach walked in. But after he left, the attackers warned the victim if he told anyone of their actions they would waterboard him again.
The troubling incident was apparently also shared on Snapchat, but the story was gone after 24 hours.
A day later, the victim and his family met with the principal, Brad Diller, and contacted police about the alleged assault.
According to one of the sources, wrestling coach Travis Peak who was questioned, first called the victim’s family and told them the attack couldn’t have happened because the boys weren’t left alone in the showers long enough. However, later, he emailed the parents and apologized to them.
“Hello I’m very sorry that this incident has rocked your family so hard and completely changed your mind about the program,” Peak wrote. “ ... I also want you to know that we are doing our best to raise good young men and not just wrestlers. We value character far above anything else. This is a huge setback for ALL of these young men.”
School officials acknowledged a case of “extreme bullying,” and said it was being investigated, but refused to give out any other details.
“Natrona County School District is aware of an isolated incident involving a violation of the student code of conduct,” the district wrote in its original statement, issued on Jan. 16. “Upon receiving information regarding the incident, an investigation was immediately conducted. As a result of the investigation, behavioral and student code of conduct disciplinary consequences were implemented.”
Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Brian Snyder