Promotions are usually celebrated with congratulatory drinks at a local watering hole, or at the very least, an enthusiastic handshake. But that wasn’t the case for newly minted Army Sgt. Phillip Roach, whose superior officers at Fort Bragg marked his rise from specialist with what the Army now calls an ”unauthorized hazing” ritual. The April 4 incident was captured on video that was only recently released.
The disturbing footage shows a higher-ranking officer taking a few practice swings at Roach’s gut with a large wooden mallet, then delivering ”a brutal coup de grace” to his chest. Roach is sent reeling then crumpling to the floor, slicing his head open on a chair along the way. After the video ends, says Roach’s father, Ken, his son suffered a seizure that could keep him from ever returning to active duty, where he was to have piloted unmanned aerial vehicles. The hammer wielder has been fined $1,000 and reprimanded, but Ken Roach, an Army veteran himself, wants a stiffer punishment.
“It was assault with a weapon. He could have killed my son.”