Police arrest 3 in Florida A&M University student's beating

A new allegation of hazing in connection with Florida A&M's Marching 100 band has arisen.

Story highlights

  • A freshman suffered blood clots and a cracked femur after a November beating
  • Three of her fellow students are charged with hazing
  • The case is separate from the death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion

Three members of Florida A&M University's marching band have been charged with hazing a fellow member of the famous Marching 100 who took her complaints to police.

The freshman suffered a cracked femur, deep bone bruising and blood clots after being beaten repeatedly on the thighs by two of her fellow students, according to arrest affidavits from Tallahassee police.

The victim, Bria Hunter, went to the hospital on November 7 -- a week after her beating and nearly two weeks before the suspected hazing-related death of Robert Champion, a 26-year-old drum major for the legendary marching band. The school's board of trustees voted last week to reprimand its president in the wake of Champion's death, and the band's director has been placed on administrative leave while state police investigate.

Incidents of hazing have followed the FAMU band for years. In 2001, a student was paddled so badly he had to be hospitalized for kidney failure, and just weeks before Champion's death, band director Julian White suspended 26 members for hazing.

The three suspects -- 23-year-old Sean Hobson, 19-year-old Aaron Golson and 22-year-old James Harris -- were booked Monday. All three are charged with hazing, a crime under Florida law, while Hobson and Golson are charged with felony battery as well.

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In interviews with detectives, Hobson and Harris denied any physical abuse took place.

According to the affidavits, all three are members of the "Red Dawg Order," a group of band students from Georgia. Hunter told police she was asked to join the group and was subjected to physical abuse on October 31 after she falsely told Hobson that she skipped a meeting of the order to attend a meeting of her section.

    "For the deceit, Hunter stated that she was lined up with approximately 11 other pledges with her being at the front," the affidavit recounts. She said she was hit more than 20 times by Hobson and Golson on that occasion, and hit with a metal ruler in another meeting at Harris' apartment the next day.

    Three witnesses corroborated Hunter's account, the affidavit states.