The Pinetop/Lakeside Police Department confirmed this morning that they have forwarded the report regarding the Safford football incident that took place earlier in June to the Navajo County Attorney for review. Their were no initial charges files by the police department but that doesn’t mean the County Attorney’s office can’t file charges after reviewing the report. PLPD also stated that the investigation was closed at the request of the alleged victim and his father.
12 News TV in Phoenix initially released cellphone footage on June 12th at 5:40pm of what they deemed “a beating” of a Safford football player by his teammates and as they were hoping, thousands of people shared the video and their mixed reactions about it. Several parents have told a completely different story than portrayed by 12 News. The full story most likely won’t be known until the PLPD has made the report available.
Safford Unified School District Director of Instructional Services, AJ Taylor, immediately made this statement available to local media on June 13th.
“Safford High School was made aware of a video at the end of the week of June 3rd, 2019. This video was a clip of some inappropriate behavior demonstrated by some of our Safford High Football team. SHS staff immediately started to investigate in conjunction with the Pinetop/Lakeside Police. The investigation is still ongoing and we are taking this matter seriously. As always, the safety of our students is our number one concern”
GilaValleyCentral followed up with SUSD this afternoon after PLPD confirmed the report being sent to the County Attorney. Taylor responded with this statement:
“Although the investigation is still pending with Pinetop/Lakeside Police, SUSD continues to progress in our investigation and is moving forward with some student and staff consequences. All summer football travel and competition has been suspended. Our investigation is still ongoing and we are taking this matter seriously. As always, the safety of our students is our number one concern.”
Head Coach Eric Hjalmarson has not been at team functions this week and was unavailable for comment. Safford will continue regular practice and weight room activities throughout the summer.
Safford opens the 2019 season at home on August 23rd against Snowflake.