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Posted on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

Attorney: Pioneer student charged with assault in football brawl didn't hit anyone with crutch

By John Counts


Courtesy of WSCO

This story was updated at 1:49 p.m. with information from the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Bashir Traevon Garain, of Ann Arbor, pleaded not guilty in the 14A-1 District Court Thursday morning to two felony and two misdemeanor charges related to the October football brawl between Pioneer and Huron high schools.

The 18-year-old Pioneer High School student waived his preliminary examination and had his case bound over to circuit court.

Garain appeared before Judge Cedric Simpson for only a few minutes and responded with a hushed, "Yes, sir," when asked if he understood the court proceedings.

Garain is charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, which are felonies, and two counts of assault and battery, which are misdemeanors, for his alleged part in the post-game fight. Police say Garain, a sidelined player on Pioneer, used his crutch as a weapon.

Walter White, Garain's attorney, said it was clear from video of the fight that his client didn't hit anyone with the crutch, and that the assault charges stem from Garain swinging the crutch once.

"The crutch hit the ground," White said. "It didn't hit anybody."

White said the video, which has not been released to the media, shows Garain shaking hands with Huron players at the end of the game. When the fight broke out, Garain, who had a football-related knee injury, hopped away and was standing away from the main action, White said. When the crowd surged, however, Garain was subsumed.

"That's when the crutch got swung," White said.

White maintains the video will show that Garain is "clearly trying to avoid trouble" and, while he swung and threw the crutch, it did not hit anyone.

"We'll let the facts play out in the judicial system," said Ann Arbor police Lt. Robert Pfannes about what exactly happened.

White said there is no connection between the charges against Garain and the Huron player who suffered head injuries during the fracas.

Pfannes confirmed this. He said two juveniles will be charged in that matter. Police are not releasing any information about the two juveniles, but both are expected to be charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, a felony, and two counts apiece of misdemeanor assault and battery, Pfannes said.

"Both subjects are believed to have inflicted injury to a subject who was on the ground," Pfannes said.

The victims in the case were in court and prepared to testify Thursday morning at the preliminary examination, a hearing used to determined whether there's probable cause a crime was committed and the person accused committed it. White said there isn't any hostility between Garain and the victims in the case.

"There doesn't seem to be any hard feelings," he said.

White said the examination was waived because it was unnecessary.

"(We'll) take it up to the (circuit) court ... and see how it goes," he said. "It's a very trial-able case, but it's a very resolvable case. It's too early to see how it will end up."

Pioneer head football coach Paul Test attended the hearing to provide support for Garain and his family. He said it was difficult to watch one of his players go through the process. Test was suspended for two games for his role in the brawl.

“I’m sorry for the situation,” Test said. “I’m sorry for my inability to stop it from happening."

Garain is scheduled to appear in the Washtenaw County Trial Court before Judge Donald Shelton at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 29. prep sports reporter Kyle Austin contributed to this report. John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

I hope Garain's attorney is correct. A felony at this age?

Nick Danger

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Drop the charges already.This is a waste of money and time. If anyone should be held accountable it should be the coaches. Unfortunately AAPS does not have the guts to do whats right and dismiss Paul Test


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

Coach test retired last night at the pioneer banquet, good choice.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

By the way there were No punches thrown between the coaches, and Pioneer DID end the game by taking a knee. If you were not there, you really do not know what happened. I was there. Also, read the officials report and the Prosecutors findings, they confirm this fully and are as unbiased as one can be.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

how many passes were thrown before he mercifully took that knee?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Test does need to go, he has embarrassed the Huron program by defeating them the past 2 years 91 - 12.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Well, duh. Who would want an attorney who tells everyone you are guilty? I'd hire him too if he's willing to make up the BS that would try to give "reasonable doubt". But when you disguise yourself before committing a felony, you're not trying to avoid trouble, you're trying to avoid being CAUGHT!!!!


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

And post #3 in this thread about "The Disguise" anyone else wondering where Thoughtful gets his/her "knowledge" about this?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on TV, but didn't the coaches "brawl" result in punches being landed upon a person? i.e., the other coach? Yet, there were no charges brought upon them right? At times, while reading this story, I really do feel that I was born at night, and also last night.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

I love the way people pile on –– going in both directions –– in these threads! Repeat after me, folks, "More shall be revealed!"


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Coach test,needs to go


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

The lawyer says: ".....while he swung and threw the crutch, it did not hit anyone....." He swung it and threw it, but it didn't hit anyone, but according to the lawyer, this is ok. Would that lawyer also agree that it's ok to drive drunk as long as no one is killed? Ha. The crutch was used in aggressive fashion. The fact that it didn't hit anyone (and that's still a question) doesn't make it ok. Saying he was trying to avoid trouble sounds like an excuse. If he was trying to avoid trouble, he should have left the field much sooner.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

@ Thoughtful - again with the disguise that only you seem to know about...


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

With you , JRW. If he was trying to avoid trouble, he wouldn't have gone out of his way to DISGUISE himself prior to swinging the crutch. If that isn't intent to injure, I don't know what is.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

Should the kids on both teams who swung and threw helmets be charged? Seems like this kid is being made a scapegoat.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

All charges should be immediately dropped against the Pioneer student, Garain. It was a mistake that any were filed initially. Angry coaches started a fight and kids then became involved in the aftereffects. If any charges should have been leveled, it surely should not have been against this young man.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

@ Thoughtful - I've asked this of you in posts before and you have studiously ignored the question but again will ask: Where do you get this wild and potentially damning information? Do you have a video of the melee? And if so where can WE see it so that we too can see this alleged crime you speak so knowingly about?

Barb's Mom

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

@dexterdriver--what if the young man happened to have a knife at his disposal and used that instead of the crutch? Would you then say that no charges should be filed. I am not passing judgment on the accused. I am just trying to point out to all those people say that it is totally against the coaches, that a dangerous weapon was used. Some people make bad choices in the heat of the moment, but they still should have to face the consequences of their choices.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

Right, because that would explain why he looked around, pulled his hood over his head, covered his nose and mouth with his shirt, and started swinging the crutch. No intent there. I would disguise myself too if I were about to assault someone. This young man thought about what he was doing. Do the crime, do the time. Oh, and there were witnesses to this, which I'm sure will come out in court. I do agree the coaches deserve more, especially Test. He is responsible for what the boys do under his supervision.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

"That's when the crutch got swung," White said. Translation from Lawyerese: nobody has proven that the crutch didn't swung itself!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

Coach Test had the chance to keep it all from happening. He could have ordered his offensive coordinator to call a running play (which would have hastened the clock running out )instead of a deep passing play. He chose not to. He could have told his QB to take a knee to run out the clock .He chose not to. His insistence to try to score "rub Huron's nose in it", so to speak, was the reason this whole debacle took place. There was no need to score again. The game was totally in hand. Any gestures of sportsmanship were noticably absent. Test said, "I am sorry for my inability to keep this from happening." What a complete and utter joke.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Sorry, Augustine, but Test is known for running up the score. Remember the Dexter game? I played football at Pioneer for 3 years and am ashamed of the football tradition that Test has created. I stopped going after the embarrassing Dexter game.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Hmmm... the papers have reported that there was no policy against the choice Coach Test made, and the coach said he did it in order to allow players into the game who do not normally get to play. This does not seem like an unreasonable choice nor a decision made with wrong intent. And for this we fire someone?!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Sure looks like more evidence that our "justice" system and allied agencies (think CPS) have become blatantly predatory. Is there ANYTHING that can deter these prosecutors from filing an abundance of bogus charges, just to see what sticks to the wall? This is happening, nationwide, just way too often. Is it the influence of the prison-for-profit industry? The way we reward prosecutors for the number of convictions? What's happened????????


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

If an angry crown "subsumed" me as I was standing there on crutches, I'd be swinging one of them, too.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Only have one side of the story here folks. No video and but I agree with the photo objections and suggestions mentioned above. To the casual observer. Me! It's seemingly likely they have over charged this young man.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

I wouldn't mess with Walter White. If he can take out Gustavo Fring there is no chance for the prosecutor.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Oops, I should've said "spoiler."


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

Don't you mean Heisenberg? Good post


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

He's in the Empire business.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

"I AM the danger"


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Seriously? Good for you goblue 7182! I was just speaking with coworkers yesterday regarding the fact that they're quick to post things of our "young AA males", but the young females pics are never seen, even when charges are drastically more severe. Hmmm..., isn't he a minor too? Maybe if our so-called educational leaders were good role models than we wouldn't have had to worry about any of this. Just a thought. Hopefully our court systems will see through all this fluff.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

No, he's not a minor. He's 18 and was 18 at the time of the incident.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Whoever's running the show at the prosecutor's office needs to go.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

Typical prosecutor overcharge. The Wash Co prosecutor's office does it all the time and it is NOT good for the system of justice. Charge these offenses appropriately and the system will run more efficiently, less people will be put in jail and fairness and sanity will return to our system of justice that favors incarceration and is too punitive.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

If swinging an aluminum bar at someone is not Assault With a Dangerous Weapon then what is it?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

"Walter White, Garain's attorney, said it was clear from video of the fight that his client didn't hit anyone with the crutch, and that the assault charges stem from Garain swinging the crutch once." ....unless.....perhaps....the lawyer is fibbing? Has that ever happened? Regardless, IMO, this is a trumped up pile of BS. But if I was the judge, I would prefer people tell me the truth. Of course dealing with lawyers all day, that is probably setting the bar a bit too high.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

I mean I imagine it would not help your cause if you lied about something when the video of the incident will clearly show whether or not he hit anyone with the crutch...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Just curious, why is his picture plastered on the front page, but there has never been any follow up or picture of the girl who recently reported the false rape?

John of Saline

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

Imagine the political storm if she is charged. The prosecutor's office knows they'd better have an airtight case, plus be willing to weather the storm of criticism ("You're making it harder for victims to come forward!", etc.).

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

goblue7182: She's not been charged. I've talked to police about this and the investigation is on-going. As we saw in the EMU case, where charges were filed against a student who said he was robbed, it sometimes takes a while for police to investigate and build their case before they can turn the investigation over to prosecutors. We continue to keep an eye out for that particular case, but to this point, nothing official has been done.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:17 p.m., could you find out if the woman who filed the false report was ever charged for filing a false report? The public was never updated on this story and from what I remember, said they would find out from the prosecutor's office if charges would be filed and if not, why?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

a fair question, if, i suppose, the girl was charged with filing a false report. Was she ever charged?

John Counts

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Checking on that today, Brad.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.



Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Any updates on when that video will be made public and/or successfully FOIA'd?

Angry Moderate

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I don't think you can FOIA litigation evidence, can you?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4 p.m.

I'm surprised that no one has posted any of their cell phone footage to YouTube yet.