FAMU band members arrested; 2 to fight hazing charges

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ORLANDO, Fla.,None —

Two Florida A&M University students are planning to fight charges that they beat a fellow member of the famed Marching 100 band so hard during a hazing incident she was left with a broken thigh.

The beatings came about three weeks before drum major Robert Champion was killed during the Marching 100 band trip to the Florida Classic at the Orlando Citrus Bowl after another suspected hazing incident.

Sean Hobson, 23, and 19-year-old Aaron Golson were charged on Monday with hazing and battery. James Harris, 22, was charged with hazing. All three remained jailed early Tuesday.

Attorneys for Harris and Golson, who appeared at a court hearing on Tuesday, say their clients would plead not guilty. A Leon County judge set a bond of $2,500 for Harris and bonds of $10,000 for Golson and Hobson.

Tallahassee police say all three men were involved in hazing Bria Shante Hunter for the "Red Dawg Order" -- a band clique for students from Georgia.

Police say that the hazing happened at Harris' off-campus apartment in Tallahassee and that at one point he stopped Golson and Hobson from hitting Hunter further.

WFTV’s Daralane Jones spoke with Hunter about the alleged attack on the telephone last month.

“That morning when I woke up, my leg was numb,” Hunter said.

"What were you afraid of at that time?” Jones asked.

“I was just scared because, like, that never happened before,” Hunter replied.

She said it took her a week to seek out medical treatment. She didn't want to elaborate on how she suffered the injuries.

“Why do you guys still participate in this hazing process?” Jones asked Hunter.

“So we can be accepted. If you don't do anything, then, it's like you're lame,” she said.

Hunter said she was mentored by Champion, who told her not to allow herself to be hazed.

After Champion died, the university indefinitely suspended performances by the famed Marching 100 and school President James Ammons has vowed to break what he calls a "code of silence" on the hazing rituals.

The school also fired band director Julian White, who contends he tried to report problems with hazing to his superiors. He has since been reinstated and placed on administrative leave at the request of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which asked the university to halt all disciplinary actions until the criminal investigation is finished. Four students connected to Champion's death were expelled, but then reinstated at the request of the law-enforcement agency.