DA, police considering charges in football field fight between Hamburg, Annville-Cleona schools

DA, police considering charges in football field fight

SOUTH ANNVILLE TWP., Pa. - Police and prosecutors are considering pressing charges in the investigation of a fight that got out of hand on the football field.

Friday night's football game between Annville-Cleona and Hamburg high schools escalated when Hamburg quarterback Joe Cominsky ripped off opposing player Josh Hartman's helmet and hit him over the head with it twice.

"I was pretty shocked. I was kind of moved by it. I think it went overboard," said Jim Deeny, of Grantville.

"It is something that in 23 some years here, covering the Annville football games, we have never had any type of incident that escalated to that point. So, I think it caught everyone by surprise," said Chief Ben Sutcliffe, South Annville Twp. Police Dept.

Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold said it is not uncommon to have a fight on the field, but it is uncommon to have police get involved.

"This was far in excess of a skirmish. What is going to come out of it, at this point, I am not sure, but certainly, we cannot tolerate that sort of activity," said Arnold said.

After seeing the video, the police opened an investigation. In addition to reviewing the video, police said they are interviewing numerous witnesses before making a determination on filing charges against Cominsky.

"It is going to be a lengthy investigation. We do not want to overlook something, so we want to do a very thorough investigation," said Sutcliffe.

But they are not the only ones reviewing the video and making judgements. The DA's office has received numerous opinions from community members and from people across the country on whether the high school player should be charged.

"They should fine him and press charges to the fullest," said Scott Arnold, of Lebanon.

The police chief said charges could range from disorderly conduct up to aggravated assault. They are also considering charging more than just Cominsky.

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