Grosse Ile Police: Guinea pig killed off school grounds

Holly Fournier, and Candice Williams

Members of the Grosse Ile High School boys lacrosse team are accused of killing a guinea pig in a pre-game, outdoor ritual, according to police.

“There’s 18 (students) on the team and we do know so far that not all of them were involved,” Police Chief Joseph Porcarelli said. “But more than half were at the location when it occurred.”

The chief declined to specify the location of the alleged abuse, but said it was outdoors and off school property.

The varsity team is comprised of students in grades 9-12, he said. It is the school’s only lacrosse team.

“There were juveniles and adults involved,” Porcarelli said of the players. “We don’t know who did what yet. We only have three interviews out of about 12 that we’re going to interview.”

The nature of the animal’s death remained unclear Wednesday, Porcarelli said.

“We don’t have that from our investigation,” he said.

The school district said it was informed of the allegations Monday and canceled lacrosse season competitions pending the outcome of the probe.

“In cases involving these circumstances, our first priority is to ensure that law enforcement has access to the information it needs to conduct its investigation, taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances,” Superintendent Joanne Lelekatch said in a statement Tuesday.

“Once law enforcement has completed its investigation, we will be in a position to assess the facts and circumstances and, if necessary, apply our student or athletic handbooks,” Lelekatch said.

“It is our policy not to speculate or comment further when a criminal investigation is underway,” Lelekatch said. “We respect the privacy of our students and thus will not make any further statements at this time.”

Deborah Williams, president of the Grosse Ile school board, said Tuesday evening that the board could not comment until police complete its investigation.

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Associated Press contributed.