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Victim's family speaks after violent Hamburg football fight

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 11 2013 09:32:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 12 2013 10:35:29 AM CDT

South Annville Township police are still deciding what criminal charges, if any, the Hamburg quarterback should face.

ANNVILLE TWP., Pa. -

Police in Lebanon County are still deciding what criminal charges, if any, a Hamburg high school quarterback should face in a fight with an Annville-Cleona High School player Friday night.

The Hamburg player, Joe Cominsky, is accused of hitting the other player with his helmet.

"It was shocking. It is something that in 23 some years here, covering the Annville football games, we have never had any type of incident that escalated to that point. So, I think it caught everyone by surprise," said Chief Ben Sutcliffe, South Annville Twp. Police Dept.

South Annville police were caught off guard, like the rest of the public and the victim's family, at seeing Cominsky, Hamburg's starting quarterback, take off his opponent's helmet and hit him over the head with it twice.

The victim was 16-year-old Josh Hartman, who fortunately walked away from the fight with only a minor cut to his head.

"He is a good kid. He works hard at football and he is a good student," said the victim's uncle, Tom Hartman.

The police department opened an investigation after seeing the dramatic video of the incident. The Lebanon County district attorney, David Arnold, said it is not uncommon to have a fight on the field, and typically police do not get involved, but in this instance, he said they had to.

"This was far in excess of a skirmish. What is going to come out of it at this point, I am not sure, but certainly we cannot tolerate that sort of activity," Arnold said.

Now, the Hartman family is waiting like the rest of the public to see if police charge Cominsky. The victim's uncle said they understand kids make mistakes and they are not pushing for criminal charges.

"You know it was a bad incident at a football game. We are thankful that Josh was not seriously injured. We are kind of like everyone else, waiting to see what happens here," said Hartman.

The question that remains unanswered is if Cominsky was provoked. Community members have told 69 News he was, however, the victim's uncle said he was not.

We also reached out to Cominsky's family. His lawyer said they are reviewing the case and did not want to comment at this time.