Vermont State Police have charged five adults with misdemeanor assault in connection with a scrap that occurred at a middle school basketball game earlier this year. However, they will not be facing any charges related to the death of a participant in the scrap, who later suffered from an acute cardiac event.
The altercation happened on January 31st at the Alburgh Community Education Center during a boys’ basketball game between Alburgh and Albans City School. Police watched various videos of the incident and found that a verbal dispute between groups of fans escalated into a physical scrap on the court.
Following their investigation, the police reported on Friday that they found no evidence to support criminal charges related to the death of 60-year-old Russell Giroux. The medical examiner concluded that Giroux’s cause of death was an acute cardiac event resulting from coronary artery atherosclerosis, with the manner of death listed as ‘undetermined.’
The five adults, aged between 24 and 43, are scheduled to face arraignment on May 11th. It is unclear if they have legal representation.
After the brawl, school officials announced that spectators would no longer be allowed to attend home basketball games for the rest of the season at the Alburgh middle school.
Police revealed that Giroux was a participant in the melee, drove his car away from the scene, and later called for medical assistance. He was then rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The incident reportedly involved seventh and eighth-grade boys from Alburgh and St. Albans middle schools. The incident started before 7 pm EST and was captured on video by a spectator.
Relatives mourned the loss of Giroux, calling him the ‘glue’ and ‘the provider’ for his family. Giroux’s grandson, Ivan, is a student at Alburgh Middle School, but it is unclear if the grandfather was watching him when the violence broke out.
Although charges have been filed for the scrap, no charges related to the death of Russell Giroux have been made. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of promoting a peaceful and safe environment at school events. It is our responsibility to create a community where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued.