Police: Teens in suspected Eastpointe abduction knew each other, set up by football coach

- A teenager was tackled, punched, and forced into a pickup truck and it was all caught on video. However, police said the teen knew the people who grabbed him and it was all set up by his football coach.

We showed the video during FOX 2 News at 5 and 6 on Monday. It showed the teenager being taken down and put into a pickup near Gratiot and Stephens. Eastpointe Police released the video and asked us to get the word out to our viewers to help find out what happened.

The video was shot from a nearby Sunoco and had viewers like Tamica Sobieralski convinced.

"I thought someone was being kidnapped, for real," she told FOX 2 on Tuesday. She had no clue it was connected to Lincoln High School, right across the street.

Police on Tuesday said that a football coach at the school learned that a star player was truant, so he sent other students to look for him. When they found him in Eastpointe, police said a student tackled him and the coach took him back to school.

Superintendent Piper Bognar says the incident is under investigation but declined to answer questions.

"Our school district is aware of the incident and it's under investigation - as always the safety and security of our students is at the forefront and that will remain our concern and we have nothing further to say at this time," Bognar said.

Santonyo Murray is a former football player at Lincoln High School and says he's not surprised this happened.

"They got great coaching staff over there. (They) get along with every player well (and) help them in a time of need," Murray said. "And I think he did the right thing on his part but he should have talked to the authorities first."

He's not the only one who thinks police should have handled it differently. Sobieralski said the coach was wrong in his actions.

"They should have handled that in a totally different matter. They should have notified proper authorities and they should have come out and investigated. They didn't do that obviously," she said.

Eastpointe Police said they're happy to help with truancy - they just need to know what's happening ahead of time. They said no charges will filed.

 

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