Michigan Teens Accused Of Doing Something Horrible To Guinea Pig In ‘Pregame Ritual’

A group of high school lacrosse players in Michigan are accused of killing and torturing a guinea pig as part of a so-called pregame ritual, and now they’re facing the possibility of imprisonment. The Dreamin’ Demon reports that the students at Grosse Ile High School face a handful of charges stemming from the incident that allegedly took place in April.

Police in Grosse Ile say that two players on the high school’s lacrosse team brought the guinea pig to an off-campus team meeting in a box. The students in question have been identified as 17-year-old Michael Roth and 18-year-old Tanner Coolsaet. Police say that half of the lacrosse team was present, along with some adults, when the guinea pig was brutally killed. However, the manner in which it was killed — and what the teens did after its death — is what’s attracting a whirlwind of attention in the news and on social media.

Police say that the small animal’s throat was slit with a knife before it was beaten to death with a small bat. After the Michigan teens were done killing it, they reportedly drank the animal’s blood in a macabre finale to the so-called pregame ritual.

Later, a teacher at the high school reportedly overheard a couple of students talking about the horrifying incident of alleged animal cruelty. That teacher brought it to the attention of authorities, who began an investigation. Shortly after being notified of the incident, police arrested the 17-year-old and 18-year-old teammates, who are accused of bringing the guinea pig to the meeting with the intent of killing it and ingesting its blood.

Both Michael Roth and Tanner Coolsaet have been charged with killing/torturing an animal and conspiracy to commit the killing/torturing of animals. If convicted, each of the two teens could get up to four years in prison. Meanwhile, students at the Grosse Ile High School have been targeted with bullying from others who have referred to the school as “The Guinea Pig School.”

Authorities are treating this incident very seriously and for good reason. In 2011, Psychology Today reported that acts of animal cruelty among children could be indicative of serious psychological issues. Research into the phenomenon of animal cruelty has consistently shown that young people who torture animals are more likely to engage in deviant criminal behaviors later. There are many factors which motivate a child to torture an animal, many of which pertaining to possible past abuse of the child. However, in this latest incident in Michigan, it’s hard to determine what could have led these students to do what they are accused of doing.

While most people appear to be shocked, sickened and angered by this horrible incident, there are some people who think that the kids shouldn’t be punished and that the entire thing was “no big deal.” One of the parents of the teens who were present at the incident has expressed such sentiments.

“Guinea pigs are like the Bic lighter of the rodent population, you can buy them for a couple of bucks and these kids did something that was going to amp them up and they had a little bit of fun with it. It was a little bit of humor, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”

In other words, the parent doesn’t seem to think that the torture and death of the small creature should be considered a crime for some reason. Do you agree with the father’s comments, or do you think the Michigan teens deserve to face some kind of punishment for what they are accused of doing?

[Photo via Shutterstock]