South Annville Township police on Wednesday announced they have filed charges as a result of a September incident in which a Hamburg High School football player ripped off an Annville-Cleona player's helmet and struck him in the head with it.
A brief statement released by South Annville police Chief Ben Sutcliffe announced that charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct have been filed. However, it does not say if more than one person was charged, nor does it release the names of those charged.
"Due to the case involving Juveniles, no other information will be released," the statement reads.
Sutcliffe said in a subsequent email that he could not say whether more than one person was charged "due to juvenile issues."
The incident occurred Sept. 6 during the third quarter of a game between Hamburg and Annville-Cleona at A-C's stadium in South Annville Township. During an on-field scuffle, Hamburg senior quarterback/safety Joseph Cominsky ripped the helmet off A-C offensive lineman Josh Hartman.
In a video of the incident shot by WGAL TV-8, which soon went viral, Cominsky could be seen twice swinging the helmet at Hartman. With the second swing, Cominsky could be seen striking Hartman on his head with the helmet while Hartman was lying on his back. Afterward, Hartman lay on the ground for a few moments, then got up and walked toward the sideline holding his head. He suffered a laceration to his scalp and was eventually cleared to return to the game. Cominsky was ejected from the game.
Annville-Cleona senior running back Taylor Prentice was also ejected for throwing several punches into a crowd of players after the helmet-swinging incident.
Normally, the Daily News does not publish the names of juveniles accused of crimes but is doing so in this case because Cominsky's name has already been reported by multiple media outlets, including the Daily News.
Per PIAA rules, both Cominsky and Prentice were suspended from their team's next game. Cominsky was also suspended for one game by his school and returned to action Sept. 27.
Hamburg's season ended Nov. 8 after a 35-12 loss to Bermudian Springs in the first round of the District 3 playoffs.
Sutcliffe told the Daily News in early October that he had completed the investigation and would send out a release as soon as charges were filed.
"The investigation is complete, and there will be a press release forthcoming," he said at the time. "We're still filling in a little bit of the details. There are some things to line up before we send out the release."
On Wednesday, Sutcliffe attempted to explain why it took so long to file charges.
"We conducted a very thorough investigation into this case, as we do all cases, and wanted to make sure that we had everything covered and followed all legal aspects needed to complete the investigation," he said.