South High star athlete charged with possession of pot

March 05, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

South Hagerstown High School's star basketball player was charged Monday with possession of marijuana, making it unlikely he will play in the state semifinals Friday.

Domonique Richmond, 18, of Hagerstown, also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia - a marijuana pipe, according to Hagerstown City Police.

Charging documents allege that he bought the marijuana from another South High student and the drug was found on school property on Monday.

Richmond, of 9938 Kurtkya Circle, was arrested at South High after police were called to the school at 1:20 p.m. Monday, police said.


The other student, a male juvenile, also was charged, though the charges and his age were not available. He is a junior and was a member of last year's Rebels baseball team.

Richmond is a three-sport star athlete at South High. He is a two-time Class 1A state track champion, winning the 800-meter run as a freshman and the 400 in his junior year.

He is the South High football team's quarterback and the basketball team's top scorer, averaging 22.4 points per game. He is one of the Tri-State area's top basketball scorers.

South High is to play Pocomoke on Friday afternoon at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House in the Class 1A semifinals.

South High Principal Michael J. Shockey wouldn't identify the two students charged at South High on Monday, but said the policy for having drugs on school grounds was clear.

Both students were suspended pending a Washington County Board of Education hearing, Shockey said. Shockey said he usually recommends expulsion for any student caught with illegal drugs on school grounds.

"Any student that's caught with cigarettes to marijuana is going to not be representing South High in extracurricular activities, period," said Shockey, reached at home Monday night. "It's just the way it's got to be."

Director of Secondary Education Boyd J. Michael III said he couldn't comment on a specific student-athlete because that could violate the student's right to privacy.

"If a student-athlete was caught with drugs today, they would be removed from the current team and all athletics for the remainder of the season or 45 days, whichever is longer," Michael said.

In such an instance, Shockey and Michael said, conviction is not necessary for a student to be prohibited from participating in extracurricular activities.

"We try to have a zero tolerance for drugs in school," Shockey said.

Athletic director Mike Tesla and football coach Greg Kellick both said they had no comment when contacted at their homes Monday night. Basketball coach Bob Starkey did not return phone calls.

The Rebels quarterback signed a national letter of intent last month to play football for the University of Maryland's Terrapins. He is set to have a full athletic scholarship.

"We need to let the judicial process run its course," Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen said in a statement through associate athletic director Dave Haglund. "We will await the outcome, then sit down with the student-athlete and his family to discuss his future."

Richmond was released on personal recognizance Monday night, according to the Washington County District Court Commissioner's office.

A woman who answered the phone at Richmond's home Monday night said he was not taking calls.

School administrators called two students to the office after lunch because a teacher "raised a concern," Shockey said.

The teacher witnessed a transaction between the two students, according to allegations in charging documents.

In the school office, Richmond took two lighters and a self-made pipe from his front pants pocket, charging documents said. As he did this he turned away slightly and Assistant Principal Paul Bisher heard something hit the floor, charging documents said.

Bisher saw a small plastic bag containing what appeared to be marijuana, charging documents alleged. The substance field-tested positive for marijuana.

Shockey said one of the two students was led away in handcuffs, but would not say which one.

Staff writers Mark Keller and Al Ditzel contributed to this story.

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