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GBI report: Hancock Central player admits to hitting Warren County, but in retaliation

Each team claims retaliation in postgame football brawl

Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 9:24 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 1:37 AM
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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — In the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s report on the Oct. 14 Hancock Central-Warren County postgame football fight, a Hancock Central player admits to hitting Warren County head coach David Daniel, but only after Daniel hit first.

A Hancock Central player admitted to hitting Warren County coach David Daniel in the face but said the coach punched him first, according to a GBI report.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
A Hancock Central player admitted to hitting Warren County coach David Daniel in the face but said the coach punched him first, according to a GBI report.



Wayne Staats
High School Reporter
Twitter: @WStaats8
E-mail | 706-823-3425

The report, which is more than 1,000 pages, is full of conflicting statements.

The differences include each team’s saying the other instigated the oral and physical confrontations that escalated into helmets being used as weapons.

Witnesses on both sides say the other team threw or tossed the first helmet.

In the report, Daniel is listed as sustaining significant damage to his eye socket, Warren County player Daniel Spence a concussion and Hancock Central player Dontarius Brookins a laceration to his forehead.

The identity of the Hancock Central player who admitted to hitting Daniel is repeatedly blacked out in the report. The player, in the report described as playing mostly at defensive tackle, said both teams were trash-talking and that a fight broke out after Warren County threw the first helmet. Warren County players, however, say Hancock Central tossed the first helmet.

After Hancock County sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray to separate the teams, the Hancock Central player said he was walking away when he was hit on the back of his head with a helmet. He rejoined the brawl and was fighting with a Warren County player when, he said, Daniel approached him and punched him three times – twice in the chest and once in the face. Then he describes punching Daniel twice in the face before the coach fell.

A second Hancock Central player, Justin Rocker, said Daniel pushed the Hancock Central player three times and hit him in the face. The Hancock Central player – the one who admitted hitting Daniel – then punched back, Rocker said.

Hancock Central head football coach Zackery Harris asked the Hancock Central player whether he hit Daniel, and the player said, “Yes sir, I hit him, yes sir.” The player denied using a helmet, instead holding up a fist when asked what he used to hit Daniel.

In the report, Daniel said the first indication of a problem was when he saw Spence lying there and then Spence getting hit with a helmet on the back of the head by a Hancock Central player. Spence said he had been sprayed and fell before being hit in the back of his head.

Warren County player, Ricardo Jones, said he saw Spence get hit as helmets were flying everywhere. Jones said he was handcuffed for a while after he fought back by striking an opposing player with a helmet, but was released a short time later.

Daniel said he was about 10 feet away from Spence when Spence was hit. Daniel then said, “What are you doing?” to a Hancock Central player and moved toward the player. The coach said he doesn’t remember what happened after that.

Harris, the Hancock Central coach, told the GBI that after the game he held his players on the field to give the Warren County players time to get into their locker room. By the time he arrived at the scene, helmets were flying.

He realized the Warren County players couldn’t get into their locker room, so he unlocked the door for them.

The previous week, some Warren County players attended Hancock Central’s game at Washington-Wilkes. Afterward, Warren County and Hancock Central players exchanged taunts and had to be separated. Considering what had happened the week before and the locked locker room, it was “the perfect storm,” Harris said.

Staff Writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this article.

Comments (10) Add comment
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oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
Points
oldenoughtoknowbetter 02/06/12 - 11:00 pm
0
0
The perfect alibi. He said,
Unpublished

The perfect alibi. He said, she said. Was anyone at fault in this situation? I suggest lie detector tests to go along with the interviews. The real truth may never surface.

KSL
170262
Points
KSL 02/06/12 - 11:21 pm
0
0
It actually sounds to me that

It actually sounds to me that 2 coaches didn't properly train their players in the aspects of good sportsmanship, just as important as training them how to win. It has been several decades since my sons left their very successful sports careers behind. I feel sorry that good teaching has fallen by the wayside, and not just on the plsyig fields, in the classrooms and halls as well.

Craig Spinks
819
Points
Craig Spinks 02/07/12 - 02:16 am
0
0
KSL, Our popular media and

KSL,

Our popular media and culture not only do not value "good sportsmanship" but don't even acknowledge it.

Good sports what?

Grantland who?

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/07/12 - 04:47 am
0
0
Well,since it was in

Well,since it was in retaliation,it's OK! The parents should be so proud that the coachs and teachers did such a fine job raising these upstanding citizens!

Little Lamb
53092
Points
Little Lamb 02/07/12 - 08:50 am
0
0
This story shows there are

This story shows there are some things that the GBI just should not investigate.

Craig Spinks
819
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Craig Spinks 02/07/12 - 09:59 am
0
0
It ain't over.

It ain't over.

kiwiinamerica
1058
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kiwiinamerica 02/07/12 - 10:31 am
0
0
Neither Hancock nor Warren
Unpublished

Neither Hancock nor Warren players and supporters can be relied on to give an objective account of what occurred.

The only possible disinterested witnesses to this rumble are the police who were at the game and seeing as this was in Hancock County, I'm not even sure about that.

follower
173
Points
follower 02/07/12 - 10:41 am
0
0
Parents instill ideals;

Parents instill ideals; respect, manners, discipline, honor, character, integrity, all components of good sportsmanship........coaches and teachers can only reinforce the groundwork laid years earlier.

Elephant in the room; the breakdown of the American family. Villages don't raise good kids.........good parents do.

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 02/07/12 - 10:56 am
0
0
Regardless of the he said she
Unpublished

Regardless of the he said she said, the boy admitted to hitting the coach therefore is guilty as charged. The people who operated on coach Daniel should be able to determine and testify whether the student hit him with his fist or a helmet. His name being withheld? The good old boy network at work. You know we can destroy the family name. Another failure in this is the governing sports authority, they chose to overlook the criminal activity and separate the schools from being able to play each other. Bottom line they support criminal activity.

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 02/07/12 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Is it accurate that the grand

Is it accurate that the grand jury found insufficient evidence to conclude who is at fault? Or is it their position that the evidence shows both parties were to blame?

If the latter, then indictments on both sides are in order. If the former, then it leaves everything raw, but I can't conclude a grand jury covered this up. Their loyalty to their own is a conflict of interest no doubt, but without knowing everything there is to know about everything involved, you can't say they acted predjudiced.

There was a comment on another related article about using a state grand jury for this type of situation. Why would that not be appropriate and already in place? Going forward, this would be a good option to have at our disposal.

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 02/07/12 - 12:09 pm
0
0
sombody second it and we'll

sombody second it and we'll call a vote

oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
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oldenoughtoknowbetter 02/07/12 - 12:14 pm
0
0
This is a perfect example of
Unpublished

This is a perfect example of the lack of control the school systems have over the students. If the schools were allowed to use corporal punishment again. This situation never would have escalated to violence. This started when females became the authority figures in the school systems. Students quit respecting authority when the butt spankings stopped.

oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
Points
oldenoughtoknowbetter 02/07/12 - 12:17 pm
0
0
The fear of a spanking calmed
Unpublished

The fear of a spanking calmed all violence when I went to school.

oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
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oldenoughtoknowbetter 02/07/12 - 12:19 pm
0
0
If I got a spanking at
Unpublished

If I got a spanking at school, I got another spanking when I got home.

oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
Points
oldenoughtoknowbetter 02/07/12 - 12:26 pm
0
0
The best teachers I had were
Unpublished

The best teachers I had were females, but they operated under a system that had male authority figures. The school systems need to go back to that system.

Willow Bailey
20606
Points
Willow Bailey 02/07/12 - 01:28 pm
0
0
How about both schools lose

How about both schools lose their sports programs for two years?

x58dav8r
112
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x58dav8r 02/07/12 - 01:36 pm
0
0
He said, she said and no way

He said, she said and no way to prove who "started it." Failure on the part of both coaching staffs and the individual team members on both sides of the field. How about we suspend them for the 2012 -13 season? You don't get to practice or play any games in your league for the year. If you do field a team for a practice anywhere at any time you won't play the next year either.

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 02/07/12 - 01:51 pm
0
0
How many times do you have to

How many times do you have to print this story? It was in here the same last week.

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