On-field football helmet assault probed

  • September 11, 2013

ANNVILLE (AP) – Police have opened a criminal investigation after a high school football player ripped the helmet off an opposing player and beat him over the head with it during a game in central Pennsylvania.

Video aired by WGAL-TV shows Hamburg quarterback Joey Cominsky tearing the helmet off Annville-Cleona lineman Josh Hartman, then hitting him with it at least twice, after a play in the third quarter of Friday night’s game at Annville-Cleona Secondary School near Lebanon.

Several other players pushed and shoved each other, and Annville-Cleona player Taylor Prentice jumped in and threw several punches, the video shows.

Cominsky and Prentice were ejected from the game. Hartman suffered a cut on top of his head but was otherwise OK. Order was restored and Hamburg won the game 25-22.

The police investigation “will be a very lengthy process, I can tell you that,” South Annville Township police chief Ben Sutcliffe told PennLive.com. “It is premature at this point to say anything about charges being filed or not being filed.”

Sutcliffe did not immediately return a message left Wednesday.

Hamburg Principal Christopher J. Spohn declined to say whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Cominsky.

“We followed our board-approved policies and procedures dealing with this situation,” Spohn told the Reading Eagle.

Under PIAA rules, Cominsky and Prentice will miss the next game.

PIAA District 3 officials said in a statement that they are content for now to allow the schools to handle the matter internally.


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