Rape or kids’ hazing? Pool cue assault divides law agencies

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A Chattanooga prosecutor was outraged when police said three members of a high school basketball team shoved a pool cue into a freshman’s rectum, causing injuries that required emergency surgery.

But a police detective three hours away in the resort town of Gatlinburg, where the boy was injured, testified the case was overblown in the media. He called it a “stupid” kids’ misdeed and said it only “happened” to fit the definition of rape.

The jarring disconnect between views of the attack has ignited an unusual public dispute between law enforcement in the two cities.

The public display of angry disagreement is a rare instance of a conflict between law enforcement agencies breaking out into the open. Experts say officials ordinarily try to work out their differences behind closed doors.