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2 charged in school HAZING

By Janice Gregorson

gregor@postbulletin.com

Criminal charges have been filed against two 18-year-old Century High School seniors in connection with hazing incidents earlier this fall.

Aaron Jeffrey Vix, 722 29th St. N.W., and Patrick Jay McBride, 5718 Shetland Drive N.W., are each charged with one count of fifth-degree assault and one count of disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

Earlier this month, Olmsted County Attorney Ray Schmitz said nine juveniles and two adults would be charged in connection with a string of hazing incidents involving underclassmen at Century High School. Under state law, information about the juveniles is not public.

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However, since Vix and McBride are both 18, they are being charged in adult court. Those complaints are public and were filed Wednesday. No court dates have been set.

The complaints allege that Vix and McBride acted together in paddling two younger students in separate incidents that occurred Oct. 4 and 7.

In both cases, the complaints said McBride furnished the wooden paddle -- one both victims were required to sign after being struck in the buttocks. It is the same paddle given to McBride after he was hazed two years ago, the complaints said.

The investigation into hazing incidents began in early October. The school district suspended three students and sent letters to all Century parents informing them of the incidents and the investigation. Police subsequently identified 16 victims and 11 suspects. The incidents allegedly occurred at private residences, the high school, Churchill Elementary School and city parks.

According to the complaint against Vix, a 15-year-old student said Vix and McBride offered him a ride home after school on Oct. 7. Instead of going home, the two told the 15-year-old he was going to be paddled and that they were going to Essex Park. There, the victim said he was directed to face a picnic table, hold it and not flinch. He was told that Vix and McBride would take turns, each hitting him three times on the buttocks with a wooden paddle.

They said if he flinched, he would get two more hits. He flinched and got two more hits. The complaint said a 16-year-old Century student who had been hazed two days earlier was present. That student told police he was scared the entire time, fearing for the other student.

The complaint against McBride alleges that Vix and McBride joined in paddling a 14-year-old Century freshman on Oct. 4. The complaint said the student approached Vix and McBride at the homecoming football game. The victim said six or seven other students were threatening to paddle him and that he preferred to have McBride and Vix do it.

After the game, they drove to McBride's home and got the paddle, then went to a park in north Rochester. There, the student was told to put his hands on a bench, to look forward and not flinch. He was hit a total of eight times. Flinching caused two additional hits, the complaint says.

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