Another victim emerges, claims hazing in FAMU band

3:26 AM, Nov 30, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- More than a week after Robert Champion's death from suspected hazing, the parents of another victim are stepping forward.

Madison Hunter contacted 11Alive News after hearing Champion's parents speak Tuesday. He and Kimberly Hunter said their daughter Bria, a freshman clarinet player in the Marching 100, was also a victim of hazing and was hospitalized only weeks before Champion's death. 

On Nov. 19, 26-year-old Champion collapsed shortly after the band performed at the Florida Classic. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Witnesses say he was vomiting and complained he was unable to breathe before he collapsed. The Orange County sheriff believes hazing was involved.

The Hunters said they only know bits and pieces of what happened to their daughter, but they say it began with a phone call home in early November. Kimberly could tell something was wrong with her daughter, but didn't know the extent until she saw Bria that weekend.

"She walked towards me in the car, and she was walking stiff-legged," Kimberly recalled. "Then she tried to get into the car, and she couldn't bend her legs to get in. She basically told me they had been punching her in her legs."

A trip to the hospital proved Bria had a fractured thigh bone and damaged knee. Bria's parents contacted director Dr. Julian White and said he immediately took action. Of the 26 students suspended leading up to this year's Florida Classic, Madison Hunter said nearly a dozen were connected to hazing against his daughter.

"You need to be punished like a criminal. That's what I'd like to see happen," he said. "If they had taken heed to what happened to my daughter two weeks earlier, it shouldn't have even gotten to the point where Robert Champion died."

Both Champion and Hunter are graduates of Southwest DeKalb High School. 

Hunter's case is under investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department.

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