FAMU Hazing Case: Arrest Warrant Issued for 'President' of Bus C

By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 6.1.2012 by Julie Montanaro

Another member of the Marching 100 is now facing charges in the FAMU hazing scandal.

Fellow percussionists call him the President of Bus C and he's accused in a beating on the same bus on the same day that drum major Robert Champion was hazed to death.

voice of Requesta Harden:
'It was my turn. I was like ... I didn't want to do it." Requesta Harden told investigators.

"Who told you it was your turn to be crossed over?"

"Dante Martin."

"Dante told you directly , it's your turn?"

"Yeah. He just tapped my shoulder and told me to come to go to the back," Harden said.

Dante Martin is now facing misdemeanor hazing charges in the beating of Requesta Harden. Marching 100 members call it a "hot seat."

It happened on board Bus C as the drum section headed to the Florida Classic.

Harden says afterward she couldn't even perform at half time.

"I was about to strap up, put on my drum and I was feeling dizzy and woozy ... and next thing you know ... I just blanked out." she said.

Several band members told investigators that Martin is the president of Bus C and he is responsible for deciding who gets a hot seat, who crosses over and how long it will last.

"Who determines whether .. or how many times or whether you go through a hot seat that night?"

"I guess it would have to be the bus president," Kerian Cox said.

"Do you know who the bus president is currently?"

"I just said it was Dante Martin," Cox said.

Requesta Harden says it was Martin who spelled out the rules and he did it the very first time she set foot on Bus C. Walking away was not an option, she said.

"They wasn't going to let me off that bus... because that was one of the rules."

"Who told you that rule?"

"Dante Martin," she said.

Harden says she was expected to cross over the weekend of the Florida Classic, but after the first beating couldn't go through with it.

'I was about to go through, but I didn't do it because I was worried about my own health, " Harden said.

"Your own health?

"Uh, huh ... because of all the beatings," Harden said.

Harden opted to take a different bus back from the game. Only later did she learn that drum major Robert Champion died on board Bus C that night.

Martin is not charged in Robert Champion's death and a spokeswoman for the state attorney's office can't comment on whether he will be.

She says Martin was charged at the same time as 13 other Marching 100 members, but the documents weren't posted until this week.

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[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - June 1, 2012 - by Julie Montanaro

There may soon be another arrest in FAMU's hazing scandal. Documents released this week show arrest warrants have been issued for a Marching 100 member known as the "bus president."

Dante Martin was never charged in the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion, but he's now facing charges for hazing another young woman on the bus earlier that same day. The hazing victim says she was so badly beaten she couldn't perform in the band's half time show.

Records released by the Orange County State Attorney's office this week show 25-year-old Dante Martin, the so-called "president" of Bus C, faces a misdemeanor hazing charge related to the beating of fellow percussionist Requesta Harden. Harden says Martin tapped her on the shoulder the morning of the Classic and called her to the back of the bus for a ritual called the hot seat. She says was beaten and when she tried to put on her drum afterward she got dizzy and blacked out.

Harden refused to ride on Bus C on the way back to the hotel because she says she was scared. She learned later that night that drum major Robert Champion died in another hazing ritual on Bus C.

Eleven band members have been charged with felony hazing for Champion's death in November. Two others face misdemeanor charges. Right now, Martin is not facing charges in Champion's death.

__________________________

Orlando, FL (AP) -- Another Florida A&M University band member faces a hazing charge, accused of organizing the beating of a female percussionist a few hours before drum major Robert Champion was beaten to death.

Records show 25-year-old Dante Martin -- the so-called "president" of the percussion section bus -- faces a misdemeanor hazing charge related to the beating of 21-year-old Requesta Harden.

Martin's charge was included in affidavits for arrest warrants released Wednesday by the State Attorney's Office in Orlando.

Eleven band members have been charged with felony hazing for Champion's death in November. Two others face misdemeanor charges.

Champion had opposed hazing. But he was also vying to be the band's top leader, and friends say he volunteered to be hazed in order to win respect from others.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2012 at 09:30 AM
    No matter what the level of activity, it always boils down to animalistic tribal behavior with the AA community.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM in reply to
      One day these old traits will dissipate from homosapiens. The evolutionary path is slow.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 08:10 PM in reply to
        Disappear? How do you know that?
  • by Ha on Jun 1, 2012 at 06:35 PM
    Wait to reinstate until they all graduate? They don't even have to attend from what the investigation uncovered. Not all of them were even FAMU students on the band.
  • by oh puh-lease on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:22 PM
    The "bus president"? Are you kidding me? Throw this thug in jail and make him wear his uniform. I'm betting he'll get LOTS of attention.
  • by Anonymous Location: Tallahassee on Jun 1, 2012 at 01:35 PM
    Sounds like Dante needs to Requesta lawyer.
    • reply
      by HMA on Jun 1, 2012 at 05:46 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Perfect!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 07:26 PM in reply to Anonymous
      This is the best pun I've read in a long time! Wonderful!
  • by Spanky on Jun 1, 2012 at 01:11 PM
    lol @ "tapping on the shoulder"....clown
  • by Florida Statutes Location: State Constitution on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    This is by any definition aggravated battery with intent to kill. Hazing is a term for those cowards that are actually enrolled at FAMU.
  • by PR Statementt 85 Location: historical black coward university on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    Dante Martin is a coward. Any person who causes a woman to be beaten with 200-300 strikes should be required to fight someone of their own size, weight and age...I forget...cowards do not want to fight men only young girls....How does that get one respect at a college? It may be the case at FAMU....at any other college first he would have to be enrolled....second if he cannot graduate by the time he is 25...he should have to get a job....I forget....he wasnt not a student...but a street thug taxpayers paid expenses so he could beat women.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM in reply to PR Statementt 85
      A coward and a loser.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM
    the boys in jail are going to love him
  • by Ridiculous on Jun 1, 2012 at 09:47 AM
    This is beyond ridiculous. Another 25 year old band student (are we sure he's a student anywhere?)participating in something so stupid. Dr. Ammons are you sure you want to return the band in 2013? I suggest you wait until 2016 and by then all of the current band students should/would have graduated. Let us pray.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:23 AM in reply to Ridiculous
      I too have said the same thing. Wait until all current band members are gone before reinstating the 100, and also find a new band director that can be vetted and guarantee a zero tolerance for hazing.
    • reply
      by fiuson on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM in reply to Ridiculous
      I agree with you. I would love to know how FAMU band compares with other similar-sized school bands...compare the number of band members and their ages. Personally, I think you should age-out of certain activities.
      • reply
        by Tally on Jun 1, 2012 at 03:51 PM in reply to fiuson
        I have agree with all of the above statements. He has been hanging around the band too long. When fraternities have been found of serious hazing incidents, injuries or death, they have been suspended for 4 years and all current members are placed on alumni status. This is to ensure that any members of that chapter are gone when that fraternity reforms. In addition, past members are not allowed to come back and join the fraternity. Starting over would be a logical choice. Given that this is a band, I don't know if that would work. It's unfair to those who had no involvement, but that's the way some things are done.
  • by M on Jun 1, 2012 at 09:36 AM
    We have a 'bus president' attempting to run our country. I wonder if Barack O'Dumb Dumb held this post when he was in the band.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:25 AM in reply to M
      Obama never went to FAMU. Stop putting politics in every single aspect of life. It makes you look like a political groupie.
      • reply
        by it is what it is on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:20 PM in reply to
        All the same, Obummer is every bit as phony as this Martin guy is...
        • reply
          by Florida on Jun 1, 2012 at 03:54 PM in reply to it is what it is
          Just remember that the guy he replaced said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Iraq participated in the 9/11 attacks. The last time I checked neither one was correct.
      • reply
        by tally on Jun 1, 2012 at 07:29 PM in reply to
        Not sure why you even responded to "M" regarding Obama. It's obvious that Obama never went to FAMU. Duhh-h-h.
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