Westlake High football hazing: charges dropped


Police originally called it a case of hazing. According to an ABC affiliate in Honolulu, the alleged incident took place Wednesday night at the Hyatt Place Waikiki. Parents told the station that about 25 seniors broke into a room occupied by five freshmen and assaulted them. The team was in Hawaii for six days for their season opening game.

"Ostensibly to talk a little bit about showing respect for varsity players and building some team unity, but that quickly escalated into name-calling and some yelling, pushing and shoving," said Conejo Valley School Superintendent Jeff Baarstad.

Coaches say nobody was injured and they thought the incident was over. But later one of the parents went to Honolulu Police and said it was more serious.

One of the suspects was then held for several days facing a felony charge of sexual assault. But later prosecutors changed their minds.

"Either no charges were filed or charges were dropped for sexual assault, and that was the first we heard that term used," said Baarstad.

Baarstad says he doesn't know which parent made the allegations.

Parents say the team took about 160 players on this trip to Hawaii.

Officials say five varsity players were pulled and not allowed to play in Hawaii.

"The school spent a lot of money on this trip, and for football players to go and kind of waste that, destroying our reputation, is not really fair. We have textbooks that are falling apart, and they get to go to Hawaii," said student Kevin Shen.

The school district is investigating.

The possibility of suspending a number of the players is a possibility, according to the superintendent.

The team returned from Hawaii to Southern California Saturday night.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.