NBC10- Doug Shimell
A criminal investigation after a fight in the middle of a high school football game. Now, a community is reacting, as police determine if a helmet was used as a weapon. NBC10's Doug Shimell reports outside Hamburg High School in Berks County, where neighbors are weighing in over whether the player should be criminally charged.
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.
The video 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.
"I was completely stunned and I felt so bad for the kid hit by the helmet," said Melissa Mong, who was in the stands at Friday night's game.
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.
South Annville Township police chief Ben Sutcliffe tells NBC10's Doug Shimell they are interviewing players, coaches and referees to find out what led up to the incident and if charges are warranted.
"We saw enough that was reason enough for us to open an investigation into what happened on the field," said Sutcliffe.
Hamburg Principal Christopher J. Spohn declined to say whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Cominsky.
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.