Commentary policy VTDigger.org publishes 12 to 18 commentaries a week from a broad range of community sources. JW Sr. hired a lawyer to help him and his son navigate the legal process after the assault. He flew east and drove to Norwich for a 50-minute meeting with university leaders and others involved in the investigation, gathering what information he could and pressing those assembled to find out more. (JW asked that only his initials be used in this story, for fear that using his full name would complicate his future career prospects in the military.). He noticed football players casting what he thought were dirty looks in his direction, but gave it little thought. JW Jr. and JW Sr. both said they were frustrated to hear that Kinahan’s case was diverted. One side of his nose was collapsed — he would later undergo surgery to fix it — and he still had splitting headaches from a concussion that left a gap in his memory of the assault. Schneider stayed silent as statewide media attention briefly focused on his university this autumn, when a football captain was allowed back on the field despite facing criminal charges of assault and battery. firstname.lastname@example.org. Jasper Craven covers politics for VTDigger. Aggravated assault is defined under Vermont law as a “bodily injury that creates any of the following: (i) a substantial risk of death; (ii) a substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ; (iii) a substantial impairment of health; or (iv) substantial disfigurement.”. She can be reached at. “I don’t know what he said to other people but I do know he told us that wasn’t cool in terms of having a party and we were obviously supposed to be supporting our teammates,” he said. “I think also the expectation of immediate retaliation was also where he was brought up in a little rougher of an area,” he said. Then, he told Chase, a “big dude” in a tank top ran up to them, shouted “What the f—?” and pulled JW outside. JW immediately apologized, and Reardon ushered him outside into the small backyard to clean off. click here. JW Sr. said he suspected public pressure made the difference. A call to the Northfield Police Department Tuesday evening was answered by Vermont State Police, who recommended calling the department back Wednesday morning for comment. View 12 homes for sale in Norwich, VT at a median listing price of $587,000. JW also wanted to salvage his Air Force ROTC scholarship and wrestling career, and worried that speaking out would make that harder to do. (Chase declined to discuss her work for this article. “I was drunk, but I wasn’t too drunk” JW grabbed another beer with a teammate, who suggested they shotgun it. Stay on top of all of Vermont's criminal justice news. When that finished, he took a job with DoorDash delivering takeout food to people’s houses. Please support our reporting and help us send 40k meals to Vermonter struggling with hunger. The pain became so intense that he checked himself into the university infirmary. JW wasn’t able to identify his attackers, and says he lost consciousness shortly after being jumped. The university’s administration found McKenna guilty of disregard for the safety of others and entering room in barracks without authority, according to a source familiar with the internal proceedings that followed the incident. We will check it out right away. “And here the Northfield Police Department conducted a prompt investigation to ensure these four individuals were brought before the court as soon as possible,” he said. We are working with Northfield PD and Stephanie Drew our title IX coordinator has reached out to you son (sic). Derek Dunning, the university’s director of athletic communications, declined to speak about the situation. W hen Callista Lemieux was a girl growing up in Derry, New Hampshire, she often watched her older brother wrestle, something he’d done since he was 3. “I’m sure some people may be frustrated and feel there should be greater consequences here but I think the transparency of the outcome is important.”. She said she remembered hanging around his matches, loving the energy and deciding she needed to take the mat herself. Tag: Norwich football . Both Reardon and McDermott dismissed the notion that JW started the fight. Associate Head Coach/Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator. She can be reached at. JW got to his feet and demanded to know who had assaulted him. All four players were suspended from Norwich, though McKenna was allowed to play on homecoming weekend before being kicked off the team. Norwich, Vermont is located in Windsor County and has a population of about 3,414. In 1990, he was inducted into the Norwich University Athletic Hall of Fame. In Northfield, by comparison, the average household income is just north of $60,000. He wrote that some of the wrestlers had also told JW to leave them out of his reports to police and investigators on the assault, which JW Jr. corroborated during his interview last month. ... Springfield College & Norwich University Vermont 1939 Football Team Picture. “It’s time to talk about it because obviously they didn’t take corrective measures when it happened to me and now it’s happening to other people — and you know it’s just wrong, flat-out wrong,” JW said. Alex Whitney was hired in 2012 to turn around Norwich’s struggling wrestling program. But after returning home to Fremont, California, a suburb of San Jose, JW Sr. said he stopped hearing from almost everyone who had been involved in initial efforts to deliver some sort of justice: Schneider, Equal Opportunity Coordinator Stephanie Drew, Vice President of Students Frank Vanacek and Northfield Police Chief Bill Jennings. Norwich University’s campus is nestled in the Green Mountains of central Vermont, USA. The series with Middlebury concluded after the 1991 season, after 99 contests, with the NESCAC's decision to eliminate non-conference football competition. She can be reached at, VTDigger publishes daily stories on health care. See pricing and listing details of Norwich real estate for sale. “It is what he always does. Thanks so much for letting us know,” he wrote, according to a copy of the email provided by JW Sr. (Larkin, the Norwich spokesperson, declined to comment on the email.). I have no doubt you will commission from any AFROTC and do very well in the Air Force,” Hird wrote, adding the “adversity you and others face here isn’t fair.” But, he added, JW’s life would inevitably hit setbacks and adversity, “Especially as a leader, officer and future commander.”. For more information, see … JW Sr. wrote to Schneider, Norwich’s president, about Whitney’s visit. Both sides of his nose had been broken. But after his first semester at the school, he lost his ROTC scholarship due to violating the three strikes rule — the off-campus drinking at Norwich was strike one, falling off track with his physical training due to the injuries was strike two, and a D grade in one class was strike three. McKenna’s attorney, Brooks McArthur, said there were four neutral witnesses who corroborated McKenna’s recollection of the night — specifically that he entered the room attempting to make peace rather than joining in the assault. “Even somebody physically built like a football player could not do that damage in two punches.”. ), “If he only got hit twice in the face, then Mike Tyson hit him,” said one of the wrestlers. JW Jr. said a victim’s advocate for the court asked him to fill out an impact statement and send in his medical bills, amounting to $2,961.04, which Kinahan reimbursed as part of his diversion agreement. JW says he blames many people for what happened to him. Colin Meyn is VTDigger's managing editor. JW only wrestled in one scoring collegiate bout his freshman year, falling to Spencer Kiehm of Harvard in the 174-pound weight class. Here you'll get specifics on the school and information on their Football program like who to get hold of about recruiting, names of past alumni, what scholarship opportunities can be … The other wrestler said JW’s claims about Whitney, which JW told him about at the time, were consistent with the coach’s behavior during other incidents when wrestlers ran into trouble. JW was a high-achieving student, attending Norwich on a scholarship through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, with plans of becoming a pilot. His player bio page on Norwich’s website boasts that he blocked for a football team that ran for 200 yards per game in the 2016 season. He was later diagnosed with a concussion. All commentaries must include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and a brief biography, including affiliations with political parties, lobbying or special interest groups. They knew I was gonna fly back to California, so they thought ‘We won’t see him again.’”. The town was named after Norwich, Connecticut, the state from which the first settlers originated. McDermott, if anything, would have allegiance to Riley,” she wrote in her report, using Kinahan’s nickname. She said the other two witnesses, Christopher Reardon and John McDermott, who were near the scene after JW vomited, seemed more credible. “Just try to ignore this and focus on my future,” was his mentality upon returning home, he said. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. It may be criminal as you suggest also. Whitney also said he pressed JW for evidence that the assault was racially motivated, and was unconvinced by his answer that it was evident in the brutality of his attackers. Sabine Field is a 3,000 capacity stadium in Northfield, Vermont on the campus of the NCAA Division III-affiliated Norwich University.Opened in 1921, it serves as home to the school's football and track teams. Kinahan’s lawyer during the 2016 case, Jon Valsangiacomo, said details emerged during the legal process that caused the case to be “dismissed,” but that he didn’t recall specifics — and likely wouldn’t be able to speak about them anyway because proceedings become confidential when a case is diverted. In an interview with Chase, the private investigator, Whitney denied explicitly trying to get JW to change his story, but does say that he challenged his recollection of the night. Thibault said McKenna has done some community service and submitted a statement explaining how he would handle the situation differently if it happened again — notably by calling campus security rather than trying to intervene himself. He eventually learned that police had identified Kinahan as the primary assailant. Our education reporter is Tiffany Pache. All gifts are being matched by a dozen generous supporters and we’ll send 10 meals on your behalf to the Vermont Foodbank. “Somebody hit me, and then we were tussling then someone else got on top and started choking me from the back,” he recalled during an interview last month. “I mean I’m a wrestler,” he said, “I’m trained in fighting. He isn’t sure he ever got the letter, and didn’t hold onto it if he did. JW arrived at the party, grabbed a beer and started chatting with friends. “Whatever they think will mute people the quickest is the way they try to handle it. JW had a light dinner with his team on his first day back on Norwich’s campus, then made up for it with a bacon cheeseburger at a nearby restaurant later in the evening. JW still couldn’t get people who were at the party, including many fellow wrestlers, to tell him who had jumped him. JW says his coach tried to convince him that his memory of events before and after the assault was unclear, and then accused him of threatening to get a gun and shoot the football players — a detail that did not appear to come up in other investigations of the night. We have a minimum length of 400 words. Within a week, he was back on a plane headed home to the West Coast. Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Norwich, VT. Hi/Low, RealFeel®, precip, radar, & everything you need to be ready for the day, commute, and weekend! Clerks at the court briefly allowed a reporter to view the files, before realizing they were supposed to remain private. Col. Andrew Hird, commander of Norwich’s AFROTC Detachment 867, wrote a letter to JW as he was considering leaving the university. “, Chase described in her report two narratives: one being told by three football players and their close friend, a rugby player, and another by JW and two other students who happened to be on the scene. You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Please send your commentary to Cate Chant. Norwich University sports news and features, including conference, nickname, location and official social media handles. Welcome to the Norwich University Football scholarship and program details page. The decision to reduce the charge against Kinahan from aggravated assault to simple assault made diversion more likely. McDermott, who lived at the house where the party was taking place, identified the man in the tank top as William Palanza, a 225-pound linebacker on the Norwich football team. Stay on top of all of Vermont's criminal justice news. Mail: P.O. “Kinahan told me he pushed W— back, and then W— took a swing at him. “Kinahan told me W— began getting physical and angry at him,” Officer Christopher Hoar, who investigated the incident, wrote in the affidavit charging Kinahan, noting that Kinahan was 6 feet tall and 265 pounds, while JW was 5’10” and 174 pounds. Our environmental reporter is Mike Polhamus. Calls to a phone numbers listed for Kinahan and Pallanza, and their families were not returned. Elizabeth Hewitt covers the criminal justice system for VTDigger. The assault was reported to police on Aug. 28, 2016, the day after the party. “I mean his nose was broken, half his face was swollen, his eye was double the size — it looked like he was hit multiple times.”, “They beat the shit out of him, he easily could have been killed,” said another former wrestler. When JW came to, blood was pouring out of cuts on his face and covering his shirt, which came off in the brawl. She can be reached at, VTDigger publishes daily stories on health care. “It seemed like a place for me to go and grow — become a man, learn my craft,” he recalled. He believes three or more football players were involved in the assault. The prosecutor added that it’s unfortunate that evidence sometimes emerges to change charging decisions after those charges have been widely publicized, but said such outcomes are hard to avoid without a grand jury system that keeps proceedings confidential until further along in the investigative process. “The state’s decision doesn’t remove the fact that Owen was involved and did enter our son’s room without consent,” the parents said in a written statement, asking that their names not be used to conceal their son’s identity. “I blame President Schneider first and foremost because he was president of the university and he was aware of the situation. McArthur blamed the Northfield Police Department for a shoddy investigation that led to serious charges filed against his client. or Best Offer +$2.00 shipping. “I don’t think that would have happened to a white person, for whatever reason they got into a fight,” he said in an interview last month. As he and his father were weighing his next move, his assailant was still on campus and playing out his senior season on the football team. JW walked back to his dorm room and briefly laid down in his bed, but started to feel lightheaded and decided to get a ride to Central Vermont Medical Center. “And as I was entering the doorway, four or five other guys rushed up behind me and followed them down,” he said. “I was like, I don’t really believe that,” Whitney said. Norwich Tourism: Tripadvisor has 2,201 reviews of Norwich Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Norwich resource. Four Norwich University football players accused of breaking into a dorm room and attacking three other students earlier this month are no longer on the team's roster. He has this big loud mouth, nice guy, it’s about development and academics first, things that parents like to hear, but as soon as there’s the slightest trouble, he runs.”, Whitney’s teams have continued to post losing records the past three seasons. “That means excelling and trying your hardest in all phases of life, and wrestling as a whole is great for that.”. Get the best deals for norwich university vermont at eBay.com. Sign up here to get a weekly email with all of VTDigger's reporting on courts and crime. “This was a case that attracted significant public attention,” the state’s attorney said. An article in the Norwich student newspaper, the Guidon, in 2014, said Whitney, who graduated from the university in 2008, had quickly turned around a program that was on the brink of being canceled just years earlier. About three months after the assault, Kinahan’s case was diverted, according to court records, allowing him to avoid the criminal process entirely. However, JW, who shared Hird’s vision for his future, said he just didn’t feel safe at Norwich. The private investigator ultimately determined that there was no evidence that discrimination played a part in the assault. His eyes were bloodshot and badly swollen. Saturday’s 2 p.m. game on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium offers the marquee sporting event in a weekend full of Norwich athletics. What happened after that is a matter of significant disagreement among those present. He can be reached at, VTDigger covers criminal justice issues including Vermont legal issues, Vermont courts and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Please support our reporting and help us send 40k meals to Vermonter struggling with hunger. Back in California, JW Jr. decided to move on with his life, as angry as he was at his former coach, his assailants, university leaders and even his teammates, who he felt had abandoned him when he needed their help. However, Whitney says the program has its priorities straight. “I was expecting to do well academically, expecting to have a chance to fight my way to the starting lineup,” he said. And then he said ‘ignorance is bliss’; and started saying he was playing the devil’s advocate,” JW said last month. Please send your commentary to Cate Chant. The three victims said the four football players stormed into their dorm room over a $5 debt. “So when I got back to compete for the starting spot, I think I would have had a good shot, honestly, but what happened happened.”. He eventually got an internship doing cybersecurity work for a tech company in California. “I have probable cause to believe Peter Riley Kinahan DOB: 03/10/1995, committed the offense of Aggravated Assault when he punched (JW) Jr. DOB: 02-23-1997 in the face multiple times rendering (JW) unconscious and causing serious bodily injury and disfigurement in the form of facial lacerations and nasal fractures,” Hoar wrote. Norwich has strict policies on students drinking, with only one offense potentially resulting in a suspension, or “marching tours” for cadets — a punishment that involves marching back and forth for hours in the middle of campus. “It’s our understanding that the state believes, from other witness statements, that Owen may have been trying to intervene or break up the incident,” they added. And he just really tried to force it down my throat that I said that. Whitney remains the coach at Norwich, and Schneider, who is still president, never told JW or his father what came of that inquest, they said. Two months after the assault, Kinahan appeared in an Instagram post promoting a game against Gallaudet, flexing his beefy arms alongside fellow senior Kurtis Leonard. “It was either chug or spill on my outfit,” JW remembered. Kinahan told me he swung back hitting W— twice and W— dropped.”, Kinahan told a similar story to Tamara Chase, the investigator hired by Norwich to determine whether the assault was racially motivated. The coach described JW as “a great kid,” with “awesome” grades, but added that he “needs help,” and said his life history — his mother struggled with drug addiction and hadn’t been part of his life since he was young — helped explain his angry response to the situation. “One of the things I was talking to W— about in the conversation I had in the infirmary was like that it takes two to tango,” he added. His eyes would soon become so swollen that nurses at the hospital had to pry them open. “The issue,” he said, “is that Norwich continues to cover up behavior of athletes and allow them to play while other students and their families have their lives turned upside down.”. But mostly, he thought, the beating was so bad only hate could explain it. We are working to get to the bottom of this with the police. “I would never have agreed to that, my son would never have agreed to that, and our lawyer would never have agreed to that,” JW Sr. said. Alden Partridge began 200 years ago of developing ‘citizen soldiers,’” says a biography of Schneider on the university’s website. “This is the reason why I want my son removed from the campus as soon as possible.”, Schneider wrote back to JW Sr. saying he would look into the complaint immediately. JW, who is African American, believed his race motivated the assault at the hands of at least one football lineman, and possibly others, on the night of his first day back on campus. He also agreed to withdraw a motion for youthful offender status, which would have moved the case behind closed doors. “Turns out he’s not, so he’s having a difficult time with this.”, McKenna plans to apply to re-enroll at Norwich so he can finish out his senior year, McArthur added. Thibault said that in cases where violent offenses occurred, law enforcement authorities are under “immense pressure” to take swift action to prevent further violence or retaliation. Because, otherwise he’s a collegiate wrestler, like if we go to the ground this isn’t going to end well for me. He spent most of his career in Cambodia, where he was a reporter and editor at English-language newspapers The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, and most recently at Southeast Asia Globe, a regional current affairs magazine. “He’s a college kid who was working through his last year trying to join the military and suddenly he’s — everybody thinks now he’s a criminal,” the attorney said. Norwich is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States, located along the Connecticut River opposite Hanover, New Hampshire. No charges were filed against Palanza. Bill Russell. “Cadet W—, you are a talented man with an uncommonly calm leadership trait. She did not respond to a request from a reporter to speak with Kinahan about his assault case. The Clerk is responsible for a variety of listing/assessing functions, as assigned by the Town Board of Listers. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in December. It is located along the Connecticut River, is home to many businesses and nonprofit organizations, and has a vibrant downtown and village green. Norwich, Vermont is located in Windsor County and has a population of about 3,414. She can be reached at, VTDigger publishes stories about Vermont environmental issues, including water quality, toxic waste, climate change and biodiversity. You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox. Commentaries are voices from the community and do not represent VTDigger in any way. For months, JW Sr. tried to keep the pressure on Northfield law enforcement officials and the Norwich administration to hold to account those involved in his son’s beating, and those who allegedly tried to change his son’s recollection of the night. So it’s his responsibility to go down the chain of command and say ‘Hey, athletic director you need to talk to the football coach and have something done about this.’ It’s the football coach’s responsibility to say ‘Hey, you guys are getting drunk at parties beating up underclassmen, you can’t do that on my team.’”. Reardon had returned to the scene and, along with others at the party, helped convince JW to head home and figure it out later. He texted back later referring all questions to Larkin and did not respond to a follow-up text asking specifically if he had tried to convince JW to change his story. “Mr. However, that appears to contradict the university’s handling of the assault that occurred on campus this year. “It was a traumatic experience. From ‘75-’91 as head football coach, he led the Cadets to 75 wins, the most successful record in NU history. When he lost the scholarship, he could no longer afford tuition, so he dropped out and moved back in with his dad. However, her report — along with the transcripts of her interviews — was made available to JW Jr. for five days upon its completion. JW is convinced that Kinahan’s story is a lie, that he took the fall to protect his friends and teammates. Connor Shea, Ryan’s younger brother, and Michael Curran, another football player, have had their cases moved to another venue, he added — either family court for youthful offenders or diversion for non-criminal resolution. VTDigger regularly publishes stories about Vermont politics. “We have a young team, but all are what we consider to be the quintessential fit to Norwich,” Whitney said heading into last season, in an article on the Norwich athletics website. Jasper Craven covers politics for VTDigger. He changed from a denim shirt and wide jeans to a fancier outfit: a white button-down shirt, white jeans and white shoes. I mean, it was my first experience with being a normal college student.”. After a year restricted to campus with other freshmen, he was happy to accept an invitation to attend an off-campus party that night at a house rented by a wrestling team captain and his friend. He recently applied to rejoin the Air Force, and though his dreams of becoming a pilot have faded, he sees a new future in military cybersecurity work. Norwich University is located in Northfield, VT and the Football program competes in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) conference. ... VT … Before long, JW recalls, a junior on the wrestling team came up to him with a chalice filled with “jungle juice,” a mix of Monster energy drinks, vodka and Gatorade powder. Our environmental reporter is Mike Polhamus. Good journalism is worth paying for. Sign up here to get a weekly email with all of VTDigger's reporting on courts and crime. JW Sr. believes that Whitney’s efforts to get his son to stop pressing the issue of who was responsible for the assault, and who knew about it, was to protect other wrestlers from the consequences of increased scrutiny of that night. “Had Northfield done even an adequate investigation in this case I suspect he would have never been charged,” he said. “What’s gonna stop him from attacking me again?” JW remembers thinking at the time. “One of the longest seated college presidents in the country, Dr. Richard W. Schneider proudly carries on the tradition Norwich University founder Capt. Whitney is still coaching Norwich’s wrestling team. W hen Callista Lemieux was a girl growing up in Derry, New Hampshire, she often watched her older brother wrestle, something he’d done since he was 3. He enrolled at Arizona State and planned to try out for the wrestling team. Another guy stepped in front of the doorway and prevented anyone else from going outside. For information about our guidelines, and access to the letter form, please VLCT Municipal Manager Form of Government Power Point 2015 Town Manager Job Description Assistant to the Town Manager Job Description He is a native of Maine and studied journalism at Northwestern University. The population was 3,544 at the 2000 census. JW Sr. says he never heard back from Norwich on the result of that investigation. “From everything I’ve gathered, I don’t think that race was the catalyst here for the altercation, but I could be wrong,” he told the investigator. Norwich football Coach Mark Murnyack did not return a request for comment Tuesday. Asked about that theory, JW said: “I wasn’t in a frail psychological state, I was just looking at the facts of the situation.” JW Sr. noted that the family lives in an upscale part of Fremont where the average income is household income is over $100,000. 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