Former Finlandia football player arraigned on aggravated assault charge

HOUGHTON — An expelled Finlandia University student was arraigned in Houghton this morning.

The former Finlandia University student and football player is facing a misdemeanor charge stemming from an alleged altercation with another student. Tajuante Anderson, 20, was charged with aggravated assault, which is punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Anderson pled Not Guilty.

Court documents said Anderson inflicted serious or aggravated injury to another Finlandia student who is a player on the baseball team. The incident reportedly happened at a party the night of December 2nd.

Anderson is one of five students that were dismissed by the university earlier this week for allegedly “contributing to an escalating hostile climate.” Bond remained at $3,000/10% or $300, which Anderson had already posted.

A pretrial will be held January 6th at 9:30 a.m.

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HANCOCK — We have new information tonight regarding the seven students that were suspended at Finlandia University.

According to information from the Finlandia University Conduct Board, the university is entering an internal investigation that will be completed within the next ten days. During the time of the investigation, the students will remain suspended and not allowed on university property.

Details will be given out on the investigation no later than December 23rd. According to the students, who ABC 10 confirmed were all football players, they were suspended after an incident with the baseball team the previous week.

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HANCOCK — ABC 10 has new details regarding the five football players expelled from Finlandia University earlier this week following an altercation with the University’s baseball team. Two of the expelled players have come forward with their side of the story.

Five Finlandia football players were escorted off the university’s campus on Tuesday due to what university officials call a contribution to “an escalating hostile climate”. All five were expelled and one of those five was arrested. But according to one of the expelled players, Darrion Robinson, this is the second round of expulsions made by the university.

Robinson said two of his teammates, Corey Dunn and DeAndre Cranston, were expelled after a pick–up basketball game between the teams ended in a physical altercation back in mid–November. For the most part, the two teams tried to let the incident go, but there was still some confusion on why only two participants in the scuffle were expelled.

“Everybody was just upset that the two people who fought our two people should have been sent home. Everybody who fought should have been sent home, not just one side,” Robinson said. “There was a lot of tension because everybody, more than just the football guys, but everybody on campus thought the two baseball guys that fought as well should have been sent home”.

Robinson said the tension was still high a few weeks later when another fight broke out at a party this past Friday. A baseball player was injured during the fight. Tajuante Anderson was arrested Monday for his role in the alleged incident. According to Robinson, Anderson posted bail and was released. On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson and Robinson along with teammates Brandon Landin, Cameron Copeland and James Christian, were escorted from campus and informed that they had been expelled.

ABC 10 did confirm with Hancock City Police Chief Wayne Butler that the five expelled athletes did leave campus peacefully when they were escorted out by campus security.
State and local police were not involved in the escorting process. Landin acknowledged that there was an altercation between the football and baseball teams, but that the issue was resolved by both teams Monday night. Why Landin was expelled is still a mystery to him.

“I’m going to be 100% honest. I feel like they took my life away from me,” said Landin.”I didn’t do anything, number one. I didn’t put my hands on anybody, I did not argue with any of those guys. I hadn’t seen any of those guys in like a week. We were trying to resolve the problem the night before. We had talked to a group of baseball players telling them we did not have any problems with them and we did not want to fight them. Everything was cool. They shook our hands back and said ‘problem solved.’ The next day I’m being thrown out.”

Robinson confirmed that all five players are appealing their expulsions and are expecting an answer from Finlandia sometime tomorrow. Anderson will appear in Houghton County District Court for an arraignment Friday morning. Robinson said they are still in the area, hoping for answers.

“We don’t have gas money, we don’t have a place to stay, we don’t have anything to eat. We didn’t know we were going to get kicked out of school so we’re on our own trying to make our way,” Robinson said.