Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus has requested assistance from the GBI with the investigation into the assault of Warren County football coach David Daniel.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents met with Primus and Glenn Ingram, the chief of the Hancock County Board of Education Police Department, on Thursday afternoon to discuss the case and the results of their investigation.
“At the beginning I was looking at the evidence and trying to see exactly what took place here. During the course of investigating along with the chief of the Hancock County Board (of Education) police (department), we learned new evidence materialized,” Primus said. “We wanted the GBI to assist us to investigate this situation that took place (Oct. 14).”
Daniel was attacked after Warren County’s 21-2 victory over Hancock Central in Sparta, Ga. According to Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey, Daniel witnessed an opposing player hit one of the Warren County players with a helmet.
When he stepped in, the Hancock Central player reportedly struck Daniel with a helmet. Daniel suffered severe fractures around his eye, cheek and nose, which required reconstructive surgery.
GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Primus called late Wednesday afternoon to ask for assistance.
The GBI’s Milledgeville office will handle Hancock County and the GBI’s Thomson office will deal with Warren County, he said.
“There’s no way of knowing how long it can take,” said Bankhead, who said there have been no arrests made or charges filed in the incident.
Carey said she was “really thrilled” that the GBI is now involved and she hopes the investigation deters similar incidents in the future. Primus said new evidence had been uncovered, but said “we can’t disclose that at this time.” He also made it clear he never said he wasn’t ever going to call the GBI.
“It’s still under investigation,” he said. “The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office along with the police department of the schools are working with the GBI.”
Warren County is playing host to Washington-Wilkes for tonight’s homecoming contest. Because of what happened last week and because it’s a big region game, Warren County is expected to have about 10 security officers on hand. At games with smaller crowds, Warren County might have as few as two security officers.
“It’s just because we want people to know we’re serious,” Carey said. “But I don’t think we’re going to need them.”
Ralph Swearngin, the executive director of the Georgia High School Association, said an incident like this has occurred infrequently during his tenure.
He said it is not unusual to have two schools submit reports when the GHSA investigates matters such as eligibility issues, but it is rare for his office to request a police report.