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Massillon football player arrested on assault charges

Arrest comes on eve of playoff game vs. rival Hoban
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

MASSILLON, Ohio — Akron police spokesman Lt. Michael Miller confirms that a football player for the famed Massillon High School Tigers is facing criminal charges alleging that he punched a bicyclist, knocking him to the ground and fracturing his skull.

The 17-year-old was arrested Thursday on delinquency charges of felonious assault by Akron police for the Aug. 4 incident on North Howard Street. He was being held in the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center until being released from custody Friday morning pending additional hearings.

In general, WKYC does not report the identity of a juvenile who has been arrested, but reserves the right to if the circumstances warrant.

The Tigers are set to play rival Archbishop Hoban in the state playoffs tonight at InfoCision Stadium. A Massillon spokeswoman did not comment on the player's status, but released the following statement from district Superintendent Paul Salvino:

"The Massillon City School District recognizes that student privacy is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. We will continue to pride ourselves on the consistent application of this student and family centered law."

According to the report, the 58-year-old man was riding his bike when the teen punched him, knocking him unconscious. The victim suffered a skull fracture and brain bleed, police said.

The victim was hospitalized for more than a month and still suffers the effects of the brain injury, police added.

Police say they have video of the teen "running before and after the assault."

There was some initial confusion over the arrest of the assault suspect. Police said a 19-year-old, with a similarly spelled name as the 17-year-old, was mistakenly arrested this week for the attack.

Police on Thursday dismissed the charges against the 19-year-old and the dismissal is noted on Akron Municipal Court records. The 17-year-old's case is pending in Juvenile Court. Those records are protected because of his age and not available online.