Police investigate fatal melee at middle school basketball game

Authorities in Alburgh, Vermont, are investigating the death of a man following a brawl between spectators at a local boys’ basketball game on Tuesday night.

Giroux, a fan of Russell, was later taken to the hospital where he died, according to the Police. A violent melee involving at least two players and adults was recorded in a cellphone video obtained by WCAX News. The Vermont State Police were called to the gym in Alburgh around 7 p.M., Following the eighth and seventh-grade game between St. Albans City and Alburgh.

The altercation was initiated by the undisclosed information that authorities have yet to reveal. Doug Disabito, the State’s Attorney of Grand Isle who also resides in Alburgh, expressed, “To a certain extent, I am speechless. This should never occur.” According to him, the state police are collecting video footage and details regarding the individuals present. He further added, “I feel sorrowful for my community. And it is due to grown-ups. Extremely sorrowful.”

The video depicts over twelve grown-ups throwing punches, or attempting to remove or separate others from the group.

Jay Nichols, Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Principals, explains why he is not certain why the referee of the game was told by him. He knew that people were punching each other on the court and that they were reffing the game. “There was one person who had blood all over their face,” said Nichols, and they received a call from a parent to contact the police.

Nichols stated, “not only might they encounter legal consequences, but they may also be prohibited from attending the occasion if they are unable to conduct themselves appropriately. We kindly request all individuals present at these gatherings to exhibit suitable behavior. It is intended for educational purposes, not adult amusement. Student-athletes are actively engaged in these competitions. Spectators are responsible for behaving in a suitable manner.” He asserts that a handful of misbehaving individuals can spoil the experience for everyone, although the majority of games proceed smoothly. According to him, attending a game is a privilege, not an entitlement, applicable to all spectators.

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He stated, “which is illegal,” engaging in disorderly behavior is something that anyone would say when we obtain the video footage. DiSabito says that if those involved consider the supporting evidence, they would prosecute.

The police say that further investigation is pending regarding the manner and cause of his death, but an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday by Giroux. The investigation, including toxicology testing, is still ongoing.

On Wednesday, we had conversations with numerous individuals from the Alburgh and neighboring communities regarding the incident. All of them conveyed feelings of sadness and shock that such an event would occur in a closely-knit community, but none of them were willing to provide an on-camera statement. Despite the intense emotions present, several individuals also mentioned that occurrences like the one on Tuesday were simply unheard of during their children’s younger years.

Grand Isle Supervisory Union officials state that in light of these distressing incidents, they will also provide resources to facilitate discussions with students regarding violence and how to address any inquiries that may arise. Despite sending letters to their respective communities, school officials from Alburgh and St. Albans City declined to comment. The district has made arrangements to offer extra assistance to students and staff.

“…We need to commit our community and students to the positive culture of our community school. Our immediate goal is to educate and remind our families and students that our school culture is one of kindness and community, like a family…”

Please contact Detective Michael Mattuchio at the St. Albans Barracks by leaving an anonymous online tip or calling 802-524-5993 for any inquiries regarding this matter.

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