A judge has banned seven Granger High students from playing football this fall after the group was charged in juvenile court for a May 3 robbery spree.
The group of nine boys — ranging in age from 15 to 17 — drove around West Valley City that Friday night, targeting other teenagers, assaulting them and taking clothing, phones and electronics, said West Valley police Sgt. Jason Hauer.
Just before 11 p.m., the teens piled out of a Ford Explorer near 3200 South and Decker Lane and mugged a pair of 13-year-olds, police said. The group then moved to 3100 South and 3200 West, where they allegedly robbed three teens. A third robbery, involving one victim, was reported near 4100 South and 4200 West.
One victim’s jaw was broken during a robbery, Hauer said.
Police eventually caught up with the Ford Explorer, arrested the nine juveniles, and found a number of stolen items inside the Ford, including two cell phones, an iPod, an Xbox 360 controller, a phone charger, and an Oakland Raiders beanie.
The teens were charged in juvenile court with counts ranging from misdemeanors for providing police with false information, second-degree felony robbery, and first-degree felony aggravated robbery.
Five of the teens have pleaded guilty to felony level crimes, Hauer said. One teen’s case is set for trial next month, and three more are still in pretrial phases.
Granger principal Jerry Haslam did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday, and Granger coach Cecil Thomas said he had been instructed not to comment on the matter.
“I can’t really say anything,” he said. “But our kids that are here are doing fine. We’re moving forward and moving right along. It’s just business as usual.”
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said a 3rd District Juvenile Court judge’s order will keep seven of the nine players from competing in the Lancers’ games this fall. The other two students were from Utah County, where a judge did not make the same order.
Those two players could still face disciplinary measures from the school, a decision that Horsley said has yet to be made. The Utah High School Activities Association recommends a minimum two-game suspension for drug crimes, but has no policy on violent crimes. Horsley said the players will not suit up for the Lancers at least until that decision has been made.
All of the nine players officially remained enrolled at Granger High as of Thursday for the beginning of classes this fall. However, Horsley said some or all of them may yet be transferred to other campuses or perhaps suspended or expelled, depending on the results of ongoing district disciplinary reviews.
Punishments may vary, he explained, because apparently only four of the nine took direct part in the assaults while the remainder stayed inside a vehicle.