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Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

Video footage from Huron-Pioneer football brawl released by Ann Arbor police

By Kyle Feldscher

Editor's note: The story has been updated with a higher quality version of the video that we believe provides a clearer understanding of what went on after the game.

Ann Arbor police released video footage of the brawl between the Huron and Pioneer high school football teams Tuesday, with one view showing the moment a player appears to swing a crutch toward a group of players. received the video footage through a Freedom of Information Act request, along with the entire police report from the incident. Charges are pending against Bashir Garain, 18, while more players involved in the brawl also are expected to be charged.

The videos show the football players lined up for the postgame handshake, greeting each other on the field. Their attention is turned by the confrontation between the coaches and players from both sides rush toward them to get involved. The melee intensifies from there.

The player police identified as Garain is seen handing one of his crutches off to another student at the 45 second mark. Seven seconds later, the other crutch is swinging through the air.

The brawl has resulted in both Huron head coach Cory Gildersleeve and Pioneer head coach Paul Test resigning their positions. Vincent Wortmann, the Pioneer coach who shoved Gildersleeve when the two head coaches met at midfield for the postgame handshake, was fired for his part in the brawl.

Washtenaw County prosecutors did not charge Wortmann with any crime. They said he used a legal amount of force in defending Test, who he believed was in danger of becoming involved in a physical confrontation with Gildersleeve.

Eight players from Huron and six players from Pioneer were suspended due to the fight. Garain was kicked off the team for his involvement, as was another Pioneer player. The other suspended players played in Pioneer's playoff game after serving their suspensions.

Ann Arbor police investigators reviewed four videos of the brawl as a part of their investigation: Two provided by CTN without audio; one by parent Richie Coleman; and one compiled version provided to the school district by CTN immediately after the game.

Among the other evidence seized by police, according to the report, was the crutch believed to have been Garain's; three photos published by; and photos of injured Huron player Will Harris’ jersey. Harris was the only player reported injured in the incident. He told investigators he was kicked in the face.

The alleged assault on Harris is not immediately clear from video footage. received the 59-page police report, which details the work done by Ann Arbor police and Washtenaw County prosecutors investigating the incident. In addition to the statements by the officers who were at the game and were witnesses to the brawl, police interviewed 22 people in their investigation. continues to review these statements. The video shown here is two clips of the video footage received by The video was trimmed to show just the incident, removing extraneous footage and this particular clip was chosen due to the quality of the images and the camera angle.

Garain’s attorney Walter White has previously told his client maintains his innocence. He’s pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and two misdemeanor charges of assault and battery. He waived a preliminary exam on Dec. 6.

His case has been bound over to the Washtenaw County Trial Court, and he’s scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in front of Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Donald Shelton.

Ann Arbor Public Schools conducted their own internal investigation of the football brawl. The investigation was completed Oct. 18.

At a recent Board of Education meeting, school board members discussed revisiting how the district handled the football brawl as a case study for looking at student and adult discipline policies and procedures.

Two trustees, Simone Lightfoot and Susan Baskett, requested to review the district’s investigative materials, including the video footage of the brawl. After a spirited discussion among the board, and in particular between Lightfoot and Superintendent Patricia Green, the administration agreed to make the investigative materials available for the board to come in and review after the holiday break and to ask questions of school officials.

One of Lightfoot’s complaints was the board has not been privy to formal requests made by the public and the media pertaining to the brawl. Lightfoot said she learned more about the brawl by reading media reports than through the administration. She argued the board should have been better informed in the wake of the brawl.

Peter Cunningham, Melanie Maxwell and Danielle Arndt all contributed to this report.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

I am a teammate of Bahir Garain, I was in the middle of the brawl as it happened, I saw Bashir getting restrained by referees and others. I thought that we could move on as a football program but this footage comes up. I'm starting to question the true character and integrity of my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. People calling young black men "thugs" and "felons", what happened to the liberal, almost annoying city that I was once proud to say I was from. This is truly pathetic that people are sitting waiting to jump on Bashir for defending himself. 1. Bashir never struck anyone I was by him the whole time 2. I was in the huddle on the last 3 plays and Coach Test did NOT call any deep passes 3. YES, Vince Wortman my former assistant coach did PUSH not strike Corey Gildersleeve. 4. Bashir Garain is one of the kindest, positive people I've ever met in my life. The fact that I talk to him and he doesn't seem phased that his future could come to an end. I wish I could've done something about it, but I cant. And It's truly sad that we can't move on as a team and as a community. Every time I hear one of YOU bad-mouth my friend it infuriates me. You all truly need to move on with your lives if your sitting on egg-shells waiting for the next chance to emasculate and humiliate Bashir. You wanted an EYE-WITNESS, then you GOT one. :)

Cristina Carpenter Bester

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Between .51 and .53 you can see the young man swing a single crutch over his head, whether it hit a person is hard to tell, but he did swing it.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Embarrassing for everyone directly and indirectly involved. I'm bothered by the hostility that BOTH teams displayed. That isn't what high school sports are about. When did rival games become this? In reviewing the tape I see many Huron coaches and staff actively pushing back athletes trying to stop the fight. I see Coach Test and a couple of Pioneer coaches actively pushing back their athletes trying to stop the fighting. That leaves me wondering who all these other (appears to be adults) on the field that are just idly watching this all go down? Are you scared of your athletes? The athletic programs in AAPS have been hit repeatedly with funding cuts, we are all working with less, the threat of more cuts are to come; and then this happens? I certainly hope this event isn't going to be the catalyst for more cuts and removal of teams/programs. The dirty laundry has been aired; the blame has been shared; now let's move forward and hope something like this never happens again.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

Wow he actually threw one of the crutches.

Widow Wadman

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

It'll be interesting to see if other players are charged.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

At the 45 second mark, the individual in the dark hoodie hands off a crutch to a Pioneer player. Then follow the person wearing the hoodie. He wields the crutch in his hands walking along with the action, then as players fall to the ground at the 52 second mark he winds up and completely hacks someone on the ground with it before hopping away. This person from the moment he handed off the crutch then held the other one in his hand like a baseball bat seemed to have intentions of using it. If that individual is Bashir Garain, it is clear why he is being charged.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

District Attorney Jim Garrison- Thank you for the frame-by-frame analysis of the Huron/Pioneer Zapruder film. Can you see in frame 45 how the crutch first goes up, and to the left? Up, and to the left. Up, and to the left. This conspiracy runs deep - but we might never know the true extent of the cover-up without your continued efforts. Keep up the hard work - I know that it's not a glorious job, or even an appreciated one, but this community needs dedicated detectives such as yourself.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Oh my! The updated video is much different than the first. Seems to be a different video all together with the pictures of the cheerleaders included. As others have said we clearly have a person in a black hoodie swing a crutch. Thanks for the updated and longer video. Much more evidence to be seen here.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

That is what Don Cherry would call a "two hander". Major penalty plus game misconduct.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Ya he would if he could, but dat der would kick ole Grapes out for expressin his opinion, ay?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

The new video makes it very apparent to me why prosecutors are seeking felony charges in the case. What I ALLEGEDLY see, after going frame by frame- The person in the hoodie moves forward with the crutch at the ready, to the edge of the fray. He then takes a huge swing at what seem to be a group of people on the ground. After the strike, he quickly retreats. The felonies seem entirely appropriate, and I hope the system has no mercy on him, including serious jail time if convicted. Someone could have been maimed, blinded, or maybe even killed (strike to the throat) by that wild swing.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

I think there is a crutch swung at about 0:53 in the video.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

With so many articles and attenting given to what happened, i expected a lot more from the video. Although an embarassing incident, it really is not that big of a deal. I hope the kid with the crutches sues everyone involved, because it sure doesnt look like he did or could have done anything. To find some humor in it, look at #89, he talks and runs multiple times. The old hold me back trick. Lets put this to rest.

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

#89 appears to be doing more than "talking and running" at the 26 second mark. In the higher quality video above he's clearly seen rearing back and swinging multiple times.

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

There were some issues with transferring the video yesterday which have since been resolved. The video above is of higher quality.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Good job on the new video as well as the efforts to secure it in the first place.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Felony if I ever saw one. Maybe the a2 version, but still a felony.

Matt Tuck

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

I saw the kid being restrained at the end 100% swing that crutch.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

Looks like he tomahawks the crutch into a pile of people at the 0:38 second mark to me...then runs away to act like nothing happened. Luckily the ref saw it and restrained him before things got worse! Hit 'menu' to get to a longer video from a different angle. It shows the swing better at the 1:10 mark.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

We are beating a dead horse. We have a 14 million dollar deficit , and yet we are wasting our breathe on this dead story. Move on


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

It's too bad this video wasn't released last week, it could have been included in the Academy awards nomination ceramony.

J. Zarman

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Amazing how many commenters here are implying something like, "If I don't see it on this video, then it didn't really happen." I find this a bit amusing, but even more sad. People can rightly be prosecuted on evidence that is not clearly seen on video.....

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

There were some issues with transferring the video yesterday which have since been resolved. The video above is of higher quality.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Notice the players who will grow up to be responsible adults - the ones in the first several seconds who didn't go join the fight.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

you guys are beating this to death.let it go.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

what no one has mentioned as of yet, is that the kid with the crutch has his hood pulled up snug, and the front of his hoody pulled up covering his face to diguise himself. Yes, that would be the aforementioned Garain, who is charged with felonies. Hmmm, wouldn't you, in the heat of the moment in a brawl, take the time out to cover your head and FACE, so as to minimize your ability to be recognized, before swinging a crutch? Get wise people, the boy had to be HELD back by the ref. He's lucky he didn't do worse- thanks to the ref. Do the crime, do the time. And yes, this isn't over, because justice must be served, and therte must be due process. There are witnesses, besides the video. Someone has to LEARN from this incident. It doesn't happen at EVERY school in Ann Arbor, or elsewhere. It is not okay, it is not the norm.

harold treeton

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Yeah that's pretty sketch to wear a hood on a cold Michigan night.... hahaha really?


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 9:31 a.m.

Thoughtful, How about you remove your hoodie and let us know who you are.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Ahh "Thoughtful" we finally get to see your alleged "disguise" that you rant on and on about but never back up. Do you remember how cold it was that night? Where you at that game? That boy already had his hood pulled up tight and a scarf on. He was sitting on the sidelines the whole night. He didn't "take the time out to cover" his head and face. You having been a like dog gnawing at this bone for weeks and still don't have anything to back up your allegations. Disgusting really, trying to make this "crime" out to be worse than it is and get a kid convicted of a felony. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

Oh yeah, that video shows the kid with the crutch was looking to (allegedly) give someone a beat-down with it.

Matt Tuck

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

he was ready to swing and was actively looking to get in involved and strike a person.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

Prison Cellmate to Teen Age Cellmate: "What are you in for?" Teenager: "I had broke my ankle and was on two crutches. There was a meele on the football field and I walked into it. Someone grabbed one of my crutches, I was charge with 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors. I refused a Plea Bargain, had a jury trial. The Prosecutor excused all the football fans from the Jury Panel and a bunch of Ann Arbor liberals found me guilty." As I have stated previously: 1. Teenboy testosterone. 2. No broken bones. 3. No surgery. Come on Washtenaw Prosecutor: Deploy your resources Wisely. If it were not for the fact that a teenboy will be hung with a Felony Record (= Lifelong Unemployability), I would say "What a Joke!"

Silly Sally

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:37 a.m.

He can swing a broom or a mop. Always a need for road paviing crews. Honest work

Tim Hornton

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

So typicle for Yp - wait this is Ann Arbor. I thought AA public schools were teaching the kids to be good citiziens of the "world". Actually from everything that has come out I blame that Huron head coach the most for this. Also good thing that ref grabbing that kid with the crutches, he looked like he was about to lose all self control and bat someone's head off with that crutch.

Silly Sally

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:35 a.m.

Why did anyond vite this down? Did they want the ref to do nothing and have the thug facing worse charges? And, someone with an injury worse than a cut face? m Are you nuts?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

I notice this is a video of a computer screen. The police wouldn't release the video as a file on a dvd or thumb drive?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

Thanks! Much better.

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

There were some issues with transferring the video yesterday which have since been resolved. The video above is of higher quality.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

Looks like a Friday night when Necto closes.....


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

The police and prosecutor wouldn't need to be involved at this time if the AAPS had simply responded appropriately with meaningful suspensions. Dr. Green should be held accountable.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

AAPD would win every millage election presented to voters if they could just find a way to release videos like this on, say, a weekly basis. Turn your head and blush, Vince McMahon.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

I see at LEAST 4 crutches in this video. At just before the :33 second mark player number 9, in white, losses a crutch. That crutch appears to get crushed under players falling on it. Moments later said player 9 gets run over by the mass of players. At no time during the video did I see a crutch being swung. I did see menacing with a crutch.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

I agree. I thought the player with the crutch looked like he got hit by the mob and his crutch went flying.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

There are a couple seconds that I can't see the crutch in all of this mess, but from what I see the young man charged with using the crutch as a weapon never swung it as a weapon. I am normally suspect of what defense attorneys say, but in this case the video seems to support the claims he never swung it as the police report indicates.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

there are also witnesses.......


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

S 240.06 Riot in the first degree. A person is guilty of riot in the first degree when he: 1. Simultaneously with ten or more other persons, engages in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally or recklessly causes or creates a grave risk of causing public alarm, and in the course of and as a result of such conduct, a person other than one of the participants suffers physical injury or substantial property damage occurs... ____ If Ann Arbor doesn't feel compelled to prosecute the two adults that, frankly, started what certainly looks like it could be classified as a riot, I fail to see why Garain is going to be charged with 2 felonies based on the video above. Perhaps the issue is not black and white, but it sure appears the charges should be dropped and people should move on without using one person as the lesson plan for the rest of the community..


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Premeditated : I'm sure he came to the game with all of this planned. Maybe the coaches should be charged then so they learn a lesson as well. Glad you agree.

Silly Sally

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:32 a.m.

I saw the crutch, held high at the 12:00 position with both hands then swung downwards by a thug. He must be punished fopr his premedated deed. Prehaps this may stay in the back of his mind in the future and deter him from worse crimes in the future. He needed more as a child. Bad boys, bad boys, what ya gonna do when they come for you? Cry?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

After further review, the ruling on the field stands. I watched it once, I'm done.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Waist of time. Police have real crimes to investigate...Let the schools take care of the schools


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

Nice, Nick! You actually got two birds here (perhaps both were intended?): Not just the misspelling, but also the people coming in here wondering why we have school athletics at all.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

That's an odd remark. I was thinking to myself about the dearth of obesity in the video.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

Oh boy something to distract us all from the tragedy in Connecticut. That is some pretty damming evidence though.

John of Saline

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Yeah, the evidence blocked the whole river. Maybe we should open the sluice gates.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

The most serious injuries appear to be bruised egos, but of course, we need to press criminal charges. These kids spent 60 minutes pummeling each other. But at 60:01, such behavior just isn't acceptable anymore. The hypocrisy of football.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

how about the Huron kid whose head was stepped on by a Pioneer player? And then the Pioneer boys had a big chuckle in the locker room about how funny it was? Not "just stitches". There's a real problem here, and this must be followed through or it WILL happen again- maybe worse next time!


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

Oh and PS - because it's hard for me to take myself as seriously as you people do about this ludicrous "incident," I downvoted my own comment.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

"To the hospital." For stitches. It takes more than two hands for me to count the number of stitches I've received from playing soccer. @ArthGuinness - you have to excuse me; I don't see a difference between a "free for all" and high school football. That isn't to denigrate the NFL, of course.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

"The most serious injuries appear to be bruised egos" ...other than the kid that went to the hospital, of course.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

So you see no difference between a game with rules and a free-for-all?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

I am ready to move on with this. Let the wounds heal.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

I agree, they have really milked this for all it's worth........too much analyzing.....too many people trying to blind us with their science......


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

Pretty obvious he is approaching the brawl with intentions on escalating it with a weapon. Looks bad for this man.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

Wow, it's really hard to see what was going on. The crutch-wielding kid seemed to be restrained by the referee without actually hitting anyone. Dottie Davis was clearly in the middle of everything so it's pretty hard to understand how her version of events differs so much from the officials. And clearly, some players wisely refrained from joining in. Thanks for obtaining this video.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Kris if you notice before the ref restrained him he was holding the crutch above his head in a threating manner. Then you see the ref restraining him, and a broken crutch on the ground. Maybe the ref was just helping him so he wouldn't fall. I wonder how the crutch broke if he didn't hit someone with it.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

kris- Unfortunately, some of the quality got diminished during the transfer of file types from the DVD we received from police to our media player. The raw video reviewed by investigators is a little bit clearer.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

We've reviewed these videos and I want to chime in here and say we haven't seen a camera angle focused on the confrontation between coaches, which started the fight. We're still reviewing the police report, which should give some more indication on what was said between the coaches in the immediate lead up to the fight.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

Kyle- Please hurry with those reports. What else will we occupy our time with? I wait with bated breath.