The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Cops, courts and fires

September 23, 2013

Elwood players won't face adult charges

Officials deny accusations football team has drug-abuse problem


ELWOOD, Ind. —

On Monday, Wells called the accusations "absurd."

"You can ask anyone who has ever played for me. I'm a fair and honest person," Wells said. "Frankly ... It's the dumbest thing anyone has ever said."

Elwood Chief of Police Sam Hanna, whose department made the arrests, said this is the only incident of its kind that he's aware of in Elwood. But he added that, if he found out 10 more students were involved, it wouldn't surprise him.

"I don't think these are bad kids, but it's possible they're making bad choices, and a lot of them might not be educated on the risks," Hanna said. "We know it's probably not an isolated incident."

According to Hanna, the investigation has largely been handed off to school officials, and his department is doing everything it can to support Elwood Community Schools in the matter.

On Monday, Elwood Superintendent Tim Smith said he also received the anonymous letter and that the accusations are baseless. He said he has a hard time taking such claims seriously when they're from anonymous sources.

"The security of kids is of utmost importance to us," Smith said. "Unfortunately, when situations like this occur, rumors and other accusations come out. We still look at them, but we look at them based on the evidence. If it's someone who would be willing to come forward and talk to us so we can follow up, we'd definitely take that seriously."

Smith said he couldn't comment on the current case because of the students' due-process rights, but said the school district's first objective in cases of drug abuse is to get help for the students involved and offer resources such as counseling.

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