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Knob beaten, officials say

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A Citadel knob is in a local hospital after he was assaulted by an upperclassman during a hazing incident at the military college this week, school officials said.

The alleged attack occurred Tuesday night after the freshman was ordered to do push-ups. While he was down, a cadet kicked and hit the victim until other members of the Corps of Cadets jumped in to stop it, officials said.

Charlene Gunnells, media relations coordinator at The Citadel, said Friday night that "disciplinary action already is under way on the cadet accused of assaulting him."

The victim did not initially report the incident and did not seek medical help until he collapsed in the shower Thursday morning, officials said. He told infirmary doctors at the college he was feeling sick, and they sent him to the hospital.

Late Friday afternoon, Gunnells said, the victim told fellow members of the Corps' chain of command and his tactical officer, who provides adult supervision in the barracks, about the attack.

The incident came during the last week of a year-long program of rigid discipline imposed on members of the college's Fourth Class system. Today is Recognition Day, which signifies the end of the freshman journey for knobs, who become full-fledged cadets.

The cadet accused of the attack faces punishment "up to dismissal," Gunnells said.

He has not been identified because the incident involves internal disciplinary action, she said. The victim also has the option of filing criminal charges.

The Citadel has made strong efforts to stop hazing among the Corps in recent years, requiring all cadets to take classes on proper behavior.

"Hazing is against the law and we don't tolerate it," Gunnells said. "When we know about it, and find out it's happening, students are disciplined. It is a very serious offense. As soon as we knew about this, we took action."

Reach Brian Hicks at 937-5561 or bhicks@postandcourier.com.

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