Wall High School hazing reopens old wounds: Impact felt at CHS



The Wall High School football team is involved in an alleged sexual assault and hazing case. https://unsplash.com/license

Samantha Skolnick

CHS’s next door neighbor, Wall High School, is now the epicenter for hazing and sexual assault investigations.

An alleged sexual assault and hazing took place on Wall High School’s premise in the locker room, reportedly captured on video, involving about six upperclassmen of the football team, which was reported on Nov. 9, 2021. The Inkblot is choosing to withhold names and specific details.

The video depicts a younger football player being chased and pinned by older players, where there was also allegedly a broomstick involved in the attack.

During Tuesday night’s Board of Education Meeting it was revealed that Wall High School Athletic Director Tim Ridoux has been put on administrative leave. Coaches including the head coach Tony Grandinetti have been suspended. Grandinetti has not commented on the incident.

CHS students, especially those from Wall Township, have not been immune to the effects of the investigations. Ella Lukowiak, a senior from Wall, described how it has changed the way students feel connected to Wall.

“I’m from Wall but I don’t go to Wall, so it’s always kind of felt like a strange relationship. Like I would play tennis, my connection is through sports,” Lukowiak said, adding that even wearing clothing related to Wall High School now feels different.

“I was wearing my Wall sweatshirt the other day and I felt weird about it. And it’s weird that I feel weird about showing school spirit now,” Lukowiak said.

On Tuesday night, the Wall Board of Education held a scheduled meeting amid the allegations. Parents were upset that they learned of the investigation through the media, instead of hearing it from the school itself. Multiple alumni, parents, and members of the public talked about the incident and how it has affected their and their children’s lives.

Many have expressed concerns that this may not be the first time that an event of this nature happened.

Eric Duchak, who attended Wall High School from 1993 to 1997, shared his story of what happened during his time there.

“I was here after school and found myself in the hallway between the cafeteria and the boys locker room. I had words with an upperclassman, who was a member of the football team. He grabbed me, put his hands down the back of my pants and yanked the tailend of my underwear as hard as he could,” Duchak said. “With my underwear wedged up my ass he carried me into the locker room, where the football team was suiting up. He [the football player] presented me like I was a fresh kill. I was dragged across the locker room floor where I was kicked, whipped, with towels, pads, and helmets.”

Duchak also explained that he had never shared his story before, holding it in for 27 years. Now he is calling for other alumni and current students to share their stories, exposing the “culture of intimidation, harassment and violence.”

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has now taken over the investigation, and is only allowing Wall Township’s police department to assist the office, in hopes “to protect the integrity of the investigations” according to NJ.com. Due to the nature of the incident, details are not being shared with the public, however, Lori Linskey, an Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor shared a statement to the public.

“I want to assure the public that multiple assistant prosecutors and detectives are diligently working on this matter right now but we really need your help, anyone with information is urged to contact our office,” Linskey said.

A highly anticipated playoff game that was supposed to be played on Nov. 12, 2021 was cancelled due to the hazing investigations, as well as the annual Thanksgiving game against Manasquan. The season that was once promising and possibly leading towards an additional state championship win has now fully come to an end.

In a letter from the Wall Superintendent Tracy Handerhan, she explained that there were meetings with the football team about the future of the season.

“During these meetings, the players were informed of the district’s decision to end the football season and not play the Thanksgiving Day game,” Superintendent Handerhan said. “We acknowledge that this will be unwelcomed news by many in our football community.”

Linskey also explained exactly how the investigation is being handled by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

“As these investigations unfold, we remain fully aware of the intense focus and unique pressure a national media spotlight has placed on the Wall Township High School community, and are sensitive to safeguarding the mental health and general well-being of students while simultaneously serving the interests of justice,” Linskey said.

This investigation has now led to the exposure of separate sexual assault allegations from within the school involving female students. According to The Patch, one of the students who is being investigated in the hazing incident is now also being accused by at least one female student of a sexual assault.

If you have any further information please reach out to the Monmouth County Prosecution Office, by calling the number (732)-431-7160.