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Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

Huron-Pioneer brawl one of three recent on-field incidents in Michigan to result in criminal charges

By Kyle Austin


The Oct. 12 Huron-Pioneer brawl resulted in charges for a Pioneer player.

Daniel Brenner |

The Huron-Pioneer brawl is one of at least three violent incidents on Michigan high school football fields over the span of a year that resulted in felony charges, and all three involved escalating tensions over end-of-game plays.

Former Pioneer player Bashir Garain was arraigned this week on four assault charges, two felony charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and and two misdemeanor charges of assault and battery, for his role in the Oct. 12 brawl. Police say Garain used a crutch to attack two people during the melee. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next week.

Washtenaw County chief deputy assistant prosecutor Steve Hiller said he could not immediately remember any cases from Washtenaw County where an athlete was charged with a crime that occurred during an athletic contest.

But across Michigan, the 2011 and 2012 football seasons contained an unusual number of occurrences of charges stemming from on-field violence.

Four Dearborn Heights Star Academy players faced felony assault charges earlier this year after an incident during the 2011 season, where they reportedly tackled an opposing quarterback before he attempted to kneel at the end of a game.

The charges were eventually dismissed amidst allegations that the accused were being discriminated against based on their race.

The other incident came earlier this year, when a 16-year-old West Bloomfield player was arrested and charged with felony assault and battery after punching a 67-year-old assistant coach on an opposing team.

The punch occurred after tensions escalated following a West Bloomfield onside kick late in a game against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek was in hand. West Bloomfield is coached by former Michigan wide receiver Ron Bellamy.

On-field incidents resulting in criminal charges are not tracked by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, but spokesman John Johnson said having three in the span of one year is abnormal.

“To have three cases in football this year is very unusual,” said Johnson, who could not recall any such incident before 2011.

All three occurred late in games or immediately after games that were one-sided. Area coaches and administrators said after the Huron-Pioneer brawl said that no protocol exists for late-game situations.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.



Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

Finally. Some real consequences for criminal behavior.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

We need schools to educate our children, not entertain them. It's time to remove the word sports from academic life. I'm sure the private sector could do a better job of managing what should have never been allowed to seep into public education.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

You want to remove the "word sports" from academic life? I don't think the Scrabble team or the debate team are part of the problem here.

harry b

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Spelling wasn't one of them.

harry b

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

Really??? Playing sports was a great contributor to my sucsess in life, personal and work.

harry b

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

You're never to young to understand fighting as an adult is a really really bad idea. Everything you worked for can be gone in a matter of minutes. Jail time will be in your future. I don't have time to go to jail because some guy cut me off in traffic or took my parking spot at the mall. Self defense is a different story. Real adults don't fight.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

What's good for one is good for all,he should not be the only one facing charges.He was not the only one out there swinging things by himself.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Test, be not proud.

Barb's Mom

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

In this article you say "Bashir Garain was arraigned this week on four felony assault charges" with a link to the previous article that says he " was charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, which are felonies, and two counts of assault and battery, which are misdemeanors," so which is it 4 felonies or 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors?

Kyle Austin

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Thanks for your comment, we've updated the story to clarify the charges.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

They don't respect the criminal justice system. Why should they is another subject. A one year suspension from ALL high school sports is the only thing that might get their attention.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Maybe if charges were not plead out and the consequences were severe enough the kids and coaches will learn that this type of behavior is not acceptable behavior.