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June 21, 2007
By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Reporter
SWEETWATER (WATE) â€” Sweetwater police say workplace hazing has crossed the line into a criminal act, resulting in charges against six men.
It was inside United Wheel, located at 357 Industrial Park Road, that police say a 39-year-old man was tormented and sexually assaulted by his co-workers and boss.
â€œIt just went way out of hand, it got totally out of control,â€ explains Detective John Scruggs.
Police say the victim was going to be laid off from his job March 14 and on that day, his co-workers gave him a cruel send off heâ€™ll never forget.
Detective Scruggs says Bryan Hinds began harassing the victim, groping him from behind. Then, police say employees threw wheel weights at him and â€œThey duct taped him. When they got done duct taping him, they took some shrink wrap and wrapped him up while they held him.â€
Detectives say plant manager Daniel Roberts, along with Bryan Hinds, Jonathon Burris, John Armstrong, Bobby Thompson and Joe Fogle tormented the victim for an hour-and-a-half.
Roberts, Hinds, Burris and Armstrong have been arrested. Police are still searching for Thompson and Fogle.
Police say Roberts encouraged his employees to continue the hazing. â€He offered $20 to anybody who would sit on his face,â€ Scruggs explains. â€œAnd Bobby Thompson did go over, pull his pants down, unclothed and sit directly on his face.â€
Right after the attack, police say the victim was handed a pink slip.
Police say as many as six other workers may have witnessed the crime. T