BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - A disturbing video taped at a U.S. military base in North Carolina shows one soldier hitting another with a wooden mallet, causing him to stumble backward and seconds later, collapse unto the floor, hitting his head on a chair.
That's where the video ends. But according to 22-year-old Sgt. Phillip Roach's father, Ken, the sergeant then had a seizure and had to be taken to a hospital for stitches.
Sgt. Roach flies a special type of plane, among other things, but is currently unable to do so because of the seizure, according to his father.
Sgt. Roach has been in the Army for five years and was recently promoted from specialist to sergeant. Being hit with the mallet was meant to be some sort of "initiation."
His father said both the soldier who struck his son with the wooden mallet and the one who filmed the incident are his son's superiors.
"He needs punishment. That was assault with a deadly weapon," he said. "He could've killed my son and he should pay for it."
After reaching out to the president's office, Roach's father received a letter back acknowledging the "unauthorized ceremony," calling it a "clear incident of hazing that caused injury to a great soldier."
The letter also confirms the soldier who hit him in that video has been reprimanded. But Ken Roach called it a "slap on the wrist" and said the punishment's not good enough.
"I'm not mad at the Army," Roach's father said. "I'm mad at the individuals who done it and who's trying to give a little slap on the wrist and say, 'It's good to go. Let's just sweep it under the rug. Send him somewhere else and be done with it.'"
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is also weighing in. Friday, he released a statement asking the Army to review this case.
"There's a possibility that he may never be able to clear medically and be able to do his job and they could medically discharge him just because of this stupid hazing," Roach's father said.
On Saturday, Roach's father told 24 Hour News 8 that the Army has been in contact with him. They told Roach that they would make sure there would be no retaliation, and the sergeant who hit his son with the mallet has been moved, and had to pay a $1,000 fine.
Ken Roach says he's not entirely satisfied, and told us he won't be until that sergeant is Court Marshalled.
Levin released the following statement Friday:
"I am very concerned about this hazing incident, and I am asking the Army to urgently review it. Preventing and responding to incidents of hazing is a leadership issue that requires actions at senior levels of the Army. Earlier this year, the Senate Armed Services Committee, which I chair, adopted a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that requires the service secretaries, in consultation with the service chiefs, to report to the committee on hazing in their services."
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