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Teen football player beaten into coma in ‘heinous’ ambush attack

‘These high school boys and young men, they feel like they own these girls that they date, even when they break up,’ brother says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 16 December 2021 20:03 GMT
Vigil held for 16-year-old Brazoswood teen who was brutally beaten
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A teenager was hospitalised after being attacked by classmates in what his family says was a “bizarre” and “heinous act”.

The classmates have said that the beating was prompted by improper behaviour towards women, although the victim’s family members have disputed this.

Cole Hagan was in the ICU for several days after the ambush, his family says (Family photo / KPRC 2)

A police affidavit states that 16-year-old Cole Hagan was at a pool party in Lake Jackson, a town on the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico, on 3 December when some of his classmates told him that his truck had been damaged.

When he came outside, Cole was reportedly ambushed by Reid Mitchell, his 17-year-old teammate on the varsity football team.

Witnesses have told police that Reid had planned the ambush for multiple days. Fellow student Logan Huber, 18, who also stands accused of involvement in the attack, told police that he saw “Reid Mitchell punch (Cole Hagan), bear hug him, slam him to the ground and then get on top of him and elbow him in the face”.

Reid then allegedly called on a friend of Cole, saying “come get your boy”. Two of Cole’s friends reportedly found him “laying in the street bleeding from his ears”.

Reid has been charged with aggravated assault and is out of jail on a $20,000 bond. Mr Huber and Ayden Holland, 17, have been accused of drawing Cole out of the party. They have also been charged with aggravated assault and are both out on bail.

Reid Mitchell, 17, Ayden Holland, 17, and Logan Huber, 18, were arrested following the assault on Cole Hagan (Courtesy of the Lake Jackson Police Department)

It’s unclear if the suspects have retained lawyers to speak for them.

Police documents state that at least eight students were aware of the planned attack before it occurred.

The Lake Jackson Police Department said in a statement: “At this juncture, we believe the identity of all those involved has been established and other charges are pending.”

Cole was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston following the attack. He was put on a ventilator with a bleeding brain and several skull fractures, Insider reported.

The teenager’s brother, Cory Hagan, 36, told the outlet that when Cole woke up he believed he had been in an accident and asked if his friends were okay. Mr Hagan said Cole “loves his friends” and “would do anything for them”.

“That right there killed me because that’s who he is, and that’s why it made this thing so heinous,” Mr Hagan said. “They chose the weakest link. They chose the person that they had to lure outside to fight because he was not a kid that if you called him out, he was going to come out there and fight you in the yard.”

“I’ve cried so much over the past week,” the brother told Insider. “Now, I’m focused on him getting better. I’m focused on doing our part to hold these people accountable.”

Mr Hagan thinks there’s footage of the attack, and with the help of contributions, the reward for submitting video showing the assault now stands at $25,000.

“I would be surprised if nothing was videoed, but if it was videoed, I think the only people that had it are the ones that could get in trouble if it aired,” he said.

Reid told police that “a build-up of animosity” had taken place between himself and Cole because of his “perceived behavior to some of their female acquaintances”.

Reid claimed Cole had been “caught” with the girlfriend of a friend. He said that “nothing happened” but added that Cole “went and did it again with [Reid’s] girlfriend”. Reid was sent images of Cole with his girlfriend, he said in a statement to police.

Reid said he told Cole “he hadn’t learned yet because he had done it so many times”. Reid told police he threw Cole to the ground and punched him several times.

Police said Mr Huber and Ayden went to the police station to “make a new statement due to leaving information out of their first statement”.

The affidavit states that Ayden said that Reid was upset because Cole had been “messing with a friend’s girlfriend and then started texting with [Reid’s] girlfriend. [Ayden] also mentioned about a girl claiming that [Cole] had sexually assaulted her”.

Mr Huber said in a second interview that Cole had been “acting inappropriately towards women, including [Reid’s] girlfriend and his behavior even went as far as sexual assault on an unknown person”. The affidavit didn’t include evidence for the claims.

Mr Hagan said those accusing Cole are “just trying to pass the buck and avoid accountability”, calling the claims “repulsive” and “false”.

“You’re making up lies about a good kid who was completely assaulted and taken off guard,” Cole’s brother told Insider. “Even if my brother had done that, which I can assure you he did not ... Newsflash to Reid Mitchell – still against the law to do what he did.

“Cole is the most passive guy you’ll ever meet, even with girls, even in football,” Mr Hagan said.

“When I called his friends, (one of them) said it was consensual. They liked each other. They were talking to each other on Snapchat,” Mr Hagan said. “A boy’s dating a girl, they break up, the girl finds somebody else, they mess around or whatever, and the guy gets mad.”

“These high school boys and young men, they feel like they own these girls that they date, even when they break up,” he added. “They think they can tell them who they can take a picture with and who they can stand with and who their next boyfriend can be.”

Brazosport Independent School District said in a statement that “the student involved” in the attack “will not be on campus”.

“Any retaliation or threats will not be tolerated, and students will be charged to the fullest extent of the law,” the district said.

“We haven’t received one apology from any of the parents or any of the young adults that were involved in it. There’s not been one ounce of remorse,” Mr Hagan said, adding that Cole will “probably never play football again”.

“After you have skull fractures like that, the last thing you need is to strap on a helmet and go bang your head into somebody else’s,” he said. “He’s going to have to protect his head, which is heartbreaking. That was his number one passion.”

When reached by The Independent, the Lake Jackson Police Department referred back to their previous statement from 7 December.

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